by Stacy Calloway, Medicare Expert (UnitedHealthcare Medicare Solutions)
How Does Medicare Work If I Am Still Working at Age 65?
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Today’s column addresses the ins and outs of Medicare Part B (Medical insurance) when you choose to work past age 65.
Do I need to apply for Medicare Part B if I still work at 65?
This is probably the most frequently asked question I receive. I wish I could provide a “one size fits all” type of answer, but my typical response is “It depends on your situation”.
Will your employer allow you to stay on their plan at age 65? Some employers do, others don’t. This conversation is definitely one to have with Human Resources. If they allow you to remain on the employer plan, you may be able to delay applying for Part B ( Medical insurance). If there are 20 or more employees at the company, you can opt to delay Part B without a late enrollment penalty. With less than 20 employees, you need to enroll in Part B when you are eligible. In this case, Medicare becomes your primary insurance and your employer plan secondary.
If eligible, can I drop my employer plan?
If I am eligible, can I drop my employer plan, and just go on Medicare? Yes, you can. In fact, Medicare may be less expensive than your employer plan. Not only that, when you add a Medicare Advantage plan, you may receive more benefits than your employer plan provides.
Keep in mind Medicare is individual health insurance, not a family plan. So, if you decide to go on Medicare while still working and your spouse is on your employer plan and not yet eligible for Medicare, your spouse needs to find other insurance.
What if I am covered under my spouse’s employer plan?
What if your spouse’s plan covers you when you become eligible for Medicare? You can elect to keep both, or drop the employer plan from your spouse and just go on Medicare. If you decide to keep both, Medicare can be primary or secondary depending on the number of employees in the company.
The bottom line
So to answer to the question, “How does Medicare work if I am still working at age 65?”, I will stress that you need to speak to a Medicare professional. The answer varies depending on your specific situation. As I said above there is no one answer that applies to everyone. I wish there was. A trusted Medicare expert can provide guidance on the plan that will work best for you.
If you have any questions that you would like answered in this column, submit your questions to email@example.com and title your email 50plusToday, or if you would like a consultation, please visit my website at www.myagentStacyCalloway.com. Thanks!!
About the author:
Stacy Calloway is an experienced Insurance Agent licensed in the state of Texas and currently contracted with UnitedHealthcare Medicare Solutions. Stacy educates Medicare beneficiaries on the different parts of Medicare, prescription drug plans and the benefits of becoming a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement member with UnitedHealthcare.