Are You Still Working 65? You can sign up for Medicare
A meaningful discussion about signing up for Medicare requires an understanding of the different parts, which cover different services. Medicare Part B covers things like outpatient care, medical equipment and doctor visits, including preventive services. Medicare part A is hospital insurance that mainly covers hospital stays. Medicare Part B charges a premium, while most qualify for Medicare Part A for free.
If you work for a small company with fewer than 20 employees, your employer may require you to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 years old. You do not necessarily have to give up your employer's coverage right now. Rather, your employer's coverage is secondary and covers what Medicare does not do. If and when you retire or leave the job, you can purchase Medicare supplementary insurance or Medigap coverage to replace your employment coverage, but only if you purchase the former within 63 days of the latter.
If you work for an employer with more than 20 employees, you have more options. Neither your employer nor anyone else can force you to sign up for Medicare. You have the option to sign up for Medicare while maintaining your employer's coverage, but in this situation it is your employer's coverage, not Medicare, that is primary. If Medicare provides better coverage than your employer's policy, you can decline coverage from your job. On the other hand, if your employer offers a better health plan, you can delay your Medicare registration up to eight months after your employment coverage ends.
Keep in mind that this applies to Medicare Part A. You may want to refrain from purchasing Medicare Part B until your employment coverage expires, or you may lose your right to federal protection when purchasing Medigap coverage. If you do not purchase Medicare supplemental insurance within six months of signing up for Part B, companies may charge higher premiums for existing conditions or completely deny you coverage.
You must be either a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States for at least five consecutive years before you can qualify for Medicare. To be eligible to participate in Part A without a premium, you must have paid Medicare tax for at least 1
There are options to get the most out of your Medicare coverage even while you are still working. For more information about registering with Medicare, contact us at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services by calling 707-823-3689.