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, delaying Medicare enrollment without risk of a financial penalty may be an option.
But before you throw away all that mail you’ve been getting about Medicare, here are four things you need to consider before making the decision to delay your Medicare enrollment:
- If you will continue to work past the age of 65 — and your employer or your spouse’s employer will provide health benefits past age 65 — look at the cost and benefits of the employer-sponsored insurance 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. Many people determine that the best option is to continue to receive health coverage through their employer or their spouse’s employer and delay Medicare enrollment until retirement.
- If you have already started collecting Social Security benefits and are planning to continue working past age 65, make sure that when you automatically receive your Medicare card, you follow the instructions that come with the card and send it back. If you do not return the card, you will be charged for your Medicare Part B monthly premium.
- If you are not receiving Social Security benefits yet and are planning to work past 65 — and your employer or spouse’s employer will continue to provide health coverage — you do not need to do anything until you approach your retirement.
Once you near retirement, you will want to start the process of enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B, and consider enrolling in either a Medicare Supplement insurance plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.
In order to avoid penalties for delaying your Medicare enrollment until past the age of 65, your employer must complete the Request for Employment Information form.
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.