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  • Writer's pictureJeannine Worthington

I'm still working? Should I still take Medicare? The Next Steps... Information for Generation Now!

A lot of people reach the age of Medicare eligibility and continue to work. Many have health insurance through their employers. What about Medicare?

For most, Medicare will be the richest health coverage they have ever had. That’s another reason to celebrate!

Are you retiring when you turn 65? Or will you decide to stay in the workforce? Either way, you may be eligible for Medicare. Follow this guide to explore your choices.

Here’s what you need to know:

You have a Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when you turn 65. You may want to enroll in Part A during this time. It’s premium free, as long as you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

You have to be proactive and enroll in Medicare yourself. Medicare doesn’t notify you about your Initial Enrollment Period unless you currently get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

You may qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows you to delay enrolling in Part B and Part D without incurring late enrollment penalties. You need to get confirmation of creditable coverage from your employer so you can delay Parts B and D without penalty.

Working beyond 65

Save some money.

• If you have an individual health plan, a Medicare plan could help you save money on your health care expenses

• If you have health insurance through your employer, a Medicare plan could work with your employer-sponsored coverage. Check with your benefits administrator to see if it makes sense for you to sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) in addition to the coverage you get today

Start with basic coverage.

Many people who choose to work past age 65 enroll only in Part A (Hospital) because there is no monthly premium. Some choose to enroll in both Parts A and B together (Original Medicare). However, Part B comes with a monthly premium based on your income, so many don’t enroll in Part B until they lose their employer sponsored coverage.

Retiring at 65

Are you ready?

If you’re ready for retirement, you will be eligible for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and other Medicare plans when you turn 65. If you don’t have employer-sponsored coverage, you should consider enrolling during your Initial Enrollment Period. You can enroll any time within the three months before your 65th birthday month, the month of your birthday and three months after.

Stay ahead of the game.

If you’re retiring, you have 63 days after your employer-sponsored coverage ends to enroll in a Medicare plan without penalty. But it’s best to sign up before you retire to avoid a gap in coverage.

Change is good.

Health care needs can change from year to year. Be sure to review your needs (upcoming surgeries, current prescription drugs, new wellness goals) with me so you can find a plan to best meet them. You can change your plan once a year during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Plans. The OEP is a seven-week period from October 15 through December 7.

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