You’re 65 and Working: What about Medicare?Posted by Medicare Made Clear
Retirement used to be closely linked to turning 65. No more. The full retirement age for anyone born in 1943 or later is at least 66. It’s 67 if you were born in 1960 or later. Full retirement age is the age at which you can receive 100% of your Social Security retirement benefit.
Medicare eligibility still begins at age 65, though, even if retirement does not. The question is: What do working 65-year-olds do about Medicare?
Medicare Before You Retire? Maybe
Before you do anything about enrolling in Medicare, you need to talk with your employer benefits manager. You need to understand if your employer insurance and Medicare can work together. In some cases it will, and in other cases you may be required to take full Medicare benefits at age 65 even if you continue working.
Questions to ask your benefits manager include:
- How would my health insurance change if I enrolled in Medicare?
- How much is deducted from my paycheck for my employer health insurance?
- Do I have creditable coverage through my employer?
This information will help you weigh your choices and decide what’s best for you. You may decide to enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both. Or you may want to delay enrolling in Medicare all together until you retire.
Enroll in Medicare Part A? Probably
Many people enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) when they turn 65 whether they’re working or not, because Part A is usually premium free. You earn premium-free Part A by paying into the Medicare program through payroll deductions. You qualify if you or your spouse contributed to Medicare for at least 10 years.
You may want to delay Part A if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) and want to continue contributing to it. Once you have Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA, though you can continue to use the funds for qualified medical expenses.
Enroll in Medicare Part B? Depends
Some people who work past 65 and have employer coverage delay enrolling in Part B to postpone paying the premium. You can sign up later during a Special Enrollment Period without any late enrollment penalties, if you qualify.
Explore Your Choices
You have a number of Medicare decisions to make when you turn 65. This is especially true when you have other health insurance. It’s a good idea to start learning about your choices ahead of time. Preparation can help you get the coverage that best meets your needs while avoiding unnecessary costs.
Tags: Apply for Medicare, Medicare Age, Medicare Part A, Medicare Premiums, New to Medicare