Medicare Initial Enrollment Details
You are eligible for Medicare upon turning 65, however, when you enroll depends on if you plan to continue to work past your 65th birthday and if you still have health insurance through your employer.
If you are receiving social security retirement benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the same month that you turn 65 (or the previous month if your birthday is on the first day of the month). If you are disabled, you will receive coverage under Medicare Parts A and B starting 24 months after your disability benefits from Social Security begin. In either case, once you are automatically enrolled, you will receive your Medicare card in the mail.
If you plan to retire prior to your 65th birthday, you have a 7-month window to enroll in Part A. The enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month. After the 7th month, a late enrollment penalty may apply.
If you plan to keep working past 65 and are working for a company with 20 or more full-time employees AND you are covered through their group health insurance, you may not need all parts of Medicare when you turn 65. You can sign up for Part A which is free for most people, if they have worked at least 10 years, and delay premium based Part B and/or Part D without incurring a penalty and get them later when you retire or lose your job-related insurance. When you do retire, you will have a special election period to sign up for B and D penalty free.
If you’re planning to keep your employer’s coverage, you’ll want to compare the cost and benefits of that against Medicare to decide which is most cost effective.
HSA contributions cannot be continued if you sign up for Medicare, not even Part A. If you are delaying Medicare to stay on your employer’s coverage and want to continue making Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions, do not sign up for Medicare Part A or B.
Everyone’s situation is different. Our Medicare advisors can help you decide if you should enroll in all Parts of Medicare or only parts B and D while you are still working or when you retire.
It’s our job to know everything about Medicare so that you don’t have to.