Generally, it’s recommended that you sign up for Medicare as soon as you become eligible to avoid late enrollment penalties. Some people may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, however, and can avoid these late fees.
Number of Employees
Suppose your employer has fewer than 20 employees. In that case, you need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, which will become your primary insurance. Failing to sign up could mean your employer’s insurance will pay little to none of your care once you become eligible.
If you’re still working and covered by your employee health insurance, from an employer of at least 20 people, you can choose to delay your Medicare enrollment because you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. The Special Enrollment Period lasts eight months and starts the month after employment or the employee health coverage ends, whichever comes first.
You can choose to delay enrollment in Part B while you still carry your employer-provided health coverage. Given the Special Enrollment Period, you will not owe the Part B late enrollment fee when you sign up, which would have added 10% to your monthly premium for every twelve months you were eligible and did not enroll.
Enrolling in Medicare
Once you turn 65, it’s a good idea to compare the value of your coverage options. Even if your employee health insurance covers you, it can be useful to sign up for Part A (hospital insurance) as secondary insurance. If you have paid Social Security taxes through your employee payroll for at least ten years, you qualify for premium-free Part A.
When you enroll in Medicare, you have the option to choose your plan. Part A and Part B are Original Medicare. Although Original Medicare. Also available is Part D prescription drug coverage. Part C Medicare Advantage plans offer the coverage of Part A and Part B, with additional prescription drug coverage and often dental, vision, and hearing options. Medicare Supplement plans can help you afford your Medicare expenses for Part A and Part B, including copayments, coinsurance, and your Part A deductible.
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