When Should I Enroll in Medicare?
Laura Kirtley: Many workers near retirement have decided or have to make a decision if it makes financial sense to go and work past the age of 65 and Gina Downs joins us from Senior Connection to talk about what that means in terms of Medicare and who should sign up for it. Welcome!
Gina Downs: Thank you!
Laura Kirtley: A lot of people see 65 as the place where they might stop working but they know they have to probably continue and a lot of people wondering what that means for Medicare and so what do you tell folks to think about when it comes to turning 65 and Medicare.
Gina Downs: Well the first thing to be aware of is if your employer has less than 20 employees you need to enroll in Medicare. You can stay on the group insurance but Medicare is going to be your primary insurance and then your group is going to fall in as secondary. So you really shouldn’t have to get anything extra at that point.
Laura Kirtley: So you say less than 20?
Gina Downs: Less than 20.
Gina Downs: Now if a group is more than 20 employees you can enroll in Part A if you want to because it is free, but Part B you could potentially delay that enrollment which will save you this year almost $122 a month. Now you want to verify with your group insurance how they coordinate with Medicare because if they require you to have Part B you need to enroll, but if they do not require that then you can delay the enrollment, save the money and then when you are no longer an active employee, enroll at that time.
Laura Kirtley: Ok, this is, I am hoping, making sense to people who are getting closer, because to me those terms don’t mean a lot but I think if you are approaching the age you are aware.
Laura Kirtley: So if you are on your spouse’s coverage does that change things?
Gina Downs: Well you always want to verify with the HR Department with the benefits how do they coordinate with Medicare because they will make that determination. So always ask questions but when you are an active employee you could potentially delay the enrollment, when you are a retiree, when you are no longer active, you must enroll in Medicare.
Laura Kirtley: You must, ok. Are there penalties if you delay the enrollment?
Gina Downs: Yes, if you delay and you do not have credible coverage, the penalty is 10% of the premium and it stays with you so it is very important to enroll at the appropriate times.
Laura Kirtley: Ok, so if you say you want to work till you are 72 and you are working for a company that is larger than 20 people, what is it you do then?
Gina Downs: If they are larger, you can delay enrollment, as long as that’s ok with your group. Ask the group permission, ask them how they do it, and then you can delay that enrollment. My boss just retired at 85!
Laura Kirtley: Wow! That seems like far away right now – that is amazing! But a lot of people are approaching this – they are trying to figure out their finances, a lot of people want to continue working.
Gina Downs: Yeah or financially they just don’t have the savings for it so there is absolutely no reason to pay for something you do not need, absolutely.
Laura Kirtley: Ok it’s Senior Connection if you do have questions 812-473-7271 we will put that on our website as well if you have questions about this but I appreciate you coming on today.
Gina Downs: Thank you so much!
Medicare Enrollment for Working Seniors
If you have questions about when you should enroll in Medicare give us a call and schedule a free appointment where we can go through the plan options and help you determine the best course of action for your Medicare enrollment based on your situation.