There is quite a bit of confusion when it comes to Medicare at 65 and its compatibility with your employers’ group health insurance plan. Depending on how your employer benefits at work are structured will determine whether or not you can defer your Medicare benefits until full retirement. If you work for an employer with 20 employees or fewer, then you are required to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 even if you plan to continue working.
This is because the employer plan becomes secondary to Medicare, picking up the co-insurance and deductibles Medicare leaves off. If you are satisfied with your medical and drug coverage through your employer plan, you can elect not to enroll in Medicare Part D or a Medicare Supplement plan at 65 because Medicare may deem your group health insurance to be credible and allow you to put off enrollment into supplemental Medicare insurance until you quit your job. Whenever you do retire, Medicare will allow you 63 days prior and after your retirement date to enroll in a Medigap and standalone part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, known as Medicare part C.
If you work for a larger employer with greater than 20 employees you have more flexibility when it comes to Medicare enrollment. This is because group insurance becomes primary to Medicare, enabling you to put off Medicare Part B enrollment. It would be a good idea to enroll yourself under Medicare Part A hospital benefits at 65 since there is no premium associated with Part A and it would go behind your group insurance, potentially covering some hospital benefits left off by your employer’s plan.
Part B carries a premium of 135.50 monthly in 2019 for most Medicare beneficiaries and can be deferred as long as you’re working full time and on your employer’s plan. Putting off part B and D is to your advantage not only by saving you this extra 135.50 monthly expense. But, enrolling in Part B initially gives you a 6-month window of time in which to enroll in any Medicare supplement plan available to you with no medical underwriting. This means the supplemental insurance companies are barred from asking any health questions 6 months before or after your Part B enrollment date. So, if you have medical conditions that would normally disqualify you from purchasing supplemental insurance, it cannot be considered by the insurance company during this period and your acceptance under any Medicare Supplement plan will be guaranteed with no increase in premiums or alterations of coverage.
Please call us or complete a contact form on our website for a later call should you have any detailed questions regarding your Medicare rights and responsibilities. One of our licensed and AHIP certified Medicare specialists will gladly assist you and answer all your questions with no obligation.