If you’re coming up on that milestone 65th birthday, Medicare is probably on your mind. But what if you’re planning to continue working? With more people staying in the workforce longer than ever, many choose to delay their Medicare enrollment.
Before you throw away all that mail you’ve been getting about Medicare, here are two things you need to consider to avoid unnecessary costs if you will continue to work past the age of 65:
- If your employer or your spouse's employer will continue to provide your health insurance — look at the cost and benefits of the employer-sponsored plan and compare them to the cost and benefits of enrolling in Medicare Part B. Specifically, you want to find out how much you would be paying for Medicare Part B compared to what you pay per month for the employer-sponsored insurance plan.
- If you receive your Medicare card and you're still covered by insurance offered by your employer, make sure that your card only shows Part A. Part A has no premium if you or your spouse paid for this through payroll taxes during employment. If your Medicare card shows both Part A and Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card and send it back to obtain a card that only shows Part A.
If you do not return the card, you will be charged for your Medicare Part B monthly premium. Keep in mind that there is typically no reason for you to have Part B if you continue to receive creditable health coverage through your employer or your spouse's employer.
Once you near retirement, you will want to start the process of enrolling in Medicare Parts A (if not already enrolled) and B. You will also want to consider enrolling in either a Medicare Supplement insurance plan and a Part D prescription drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan.
In order to avoid penalties for delaying your Medicare enrollment beyond age 65, your employer must complete the Request for Employment Information form upon your retirement.
Once this form is completed, you will take it to the Social Security office when applying and it will exempt you from the delayed enrollment penalties for Medicare Part B and Part D prescription drug plans.