Working Past 65

Working Past 65

How is Medicare eligibility determined?

Medicare eligibility can vary based on your age and whether your employer or plan sponsor offers retiree coverage. So, even if you’re turning 65 and want to continue working, you may still be eligible for Medicare. Yes, even if you have insurance through your employer.

What should I know about Medicare eligibility?

  • When you turn 65, you have a 7-month Medicare Initial Enrollment Period.
  • You may want to enroll in Medicare Part A. Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay a premium fee for that, if either you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
  • Enrolling in Medicare is your choice. You will need to sign yourself up. You won’t be automatically enrolled.
  • You should know that Medicare will NOT notify you about your Initial Enrollment Period—that is, unless you are currently receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
  • There’s also a period called your Special Enrollment Period, where you can choose to delay your enrollment in Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D without incurring penalties for enrolling “late.” If you choose to delay your enrollment, you be required to present proof of “credible” health insurance from your current employer.

What are my Medicare coverage options?

Original Medicare is health insurance offered through the US government and helps pay for some, but not all, your hospital stays and doctor visits. Original Medicare does NOT pay for any of your prescription drug expenses. An Original Medicare plan may be enough for you. Visit medicare.gov to find out the Medicare plans available to you in your area.

What other Medicare plans are available?

  • Medicare supplement plans
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plans
  • Medicare Advantage plans

If you chose one of these plans, be sure to enroll about two months before you retire. Remember, processing your application can actually take up to six weeks—and you don’t want to have a gap in your health coverage.

Now, if you’re worried you won’t be able to afford a Medicare health plan, we encourage you to visit the social security website. You can also call your local social security office about extra help paying for a plan with prescription drug coverage. Apply early, because it can take up to three months to find out if you qualify for this extra help.

Visit medicare.gov for more help understanding your options so you can make informed decisions about your healthcare.

 What do my Medicare health coverage options depend upon?

  • Your age
  • Whether you have retiree coverage through your employer or plan sponsor

You may qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period if you are:

  • Covered under your spouse’s current employer health plan
  • At least 65 years old when your spouse’s employer insurance ends

When is my Medicare Special Enrollment Period?

Your Medicare Special Enrollment period begins when you retire or when your employer insurance ends—whatever comes first, if you qualify. There are several important things to consider during your Medicare Special Enrollment Period. First of all, we recommend that you talk with your employer’s health insurance plan administrator before you make any decisions.

You should ask whether your employer’s health insurance plan provider works with Medicare coverage. At age 65, you may have to take full Medicare benefits (Part A & B) instead. Also, if your employer has less than 20 employees, you may be advised to take Medicare coverage only.

During your Medicare Special Enrollment Period you have up to 8 months to enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. This period begins after your last month of employment or last month of health coverage under your (former) employer.

From the month after your last month of employment or health coverage under your (former) employer, you’ll have 2 months to enroll in:

  • Medicare Advantage—called Medicare Part C
  • Medicare Part D, which is specifically for prescription drug coverage. You may choose to sign up for Medicare Part D now, as a way to prepare for higher prescription costs in the future.

If you are not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when COBRA or retiree coverage ends, you may be eligible for other enrollment options. We encourage you to call Medicare or meet with your employer’s healthcare administrator to better understand all your options.

We’re here to help.

We know this can be a confusing time. Although we are not an insurance plan, but we can connect you with trusted resources who can help you determine the best coverage for you and your health.

Call 702-623-0183 to reach an Intermountain Healthcare team member. We are committed to helping you feel confident that you have the right plan and right doctor.

Questions about your Medicare options?

Join us at an upcoming educational event in your neighborhood. Or, call us at 702-852-9000.

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