Working Past Age 65

Working Past Age 65

As more people decide to continue working past age 65, understanding Medicare becomes very important. Staying in employment can be confusing when dealing with Medicare. But it can lead to better health care and financial benefits. This guide will explain how to manage Medicare if you work after age 65, and will cover what you need to know about eligibility. Enrollment and getting the most out of your healthcare options while continuing your career.

Exactly Why People Work Past Age 65

Many individuals work beyond age 65 due to financial necessity. As retirement savings may not cover all living and health care costs In addition to financial necessity. Personal satisfaction and engagement play a role in particular, creating a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Improved health and longevity also enable older adults to be active in their work, making continued employment possible and enjoyable. Additionally, the workshop fosters valuable connections and a sense of community. Helping individuals stay in touch with business developments and maintain professional relationships. Improving their own lives and the lives of others.

Now let’s talk about the Basics of Medicare

Medicare (Parts A, B, C, D)

Medicare is the primary government health insurance program for people 65 and older. But it also covers some younger people with disabilities. It is divided into four categories: 

Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient care, skilled nursing care, hospital care, and a home health program. 

Part B (Medical Insurance) covers certain physician services, outpatient services, medical supplies, and preventive care. 

Part C (Medicare Advantage) is an alternative to Original Medicare, which provides beneficiaries with Part A and Part B benefits through private health plans, often with additional benefits such as dental care and vision view. 

Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) Covers prescription drug coverage through Medicare-approved private plans. To qualify for Medicare, you generally must be 65 years of age or older and at least a U.S. resident. citizen or legal permanent resident for five years. In addition, individuals under the age of 65 may be eligible if they have a qualifying disability or specific condition such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Enrollment Periods and Penalties for Late Enrollment

  • Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): This seven-month period starts three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and ends three months after.
  • General Enrollment Period (GEP): If you miss your IEP, you can enrol from January 1 to March 31 each year, with coverage starting July 1.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Available for individuals who delay enrollment due to having other health coverage, such as through an employer. The SEP allows them to enrol without penalty when their other coverage ends.

Failure to enrol during the IEP or a SEP may result in late enrollment penalties. Which can permanently increase the premiums for Part B and Part D, emphasizing the importance of timely enrollment.

Key Considerations Working Past 65

When working past age 65, it’s essential to understand how your employer’s health insurance interacts with Medicare. This coordination of benefits determines which insurance pays first (primary) and which pays second (secondary). Typically, if you have employer coverage, it may be primary. And Medicare secondary, or vice versa, depending on the size of your employer.

Differences Between Large Employer Plans (20+ Employees) and Small Employer Plans (<20 Employees)

The size of your employer significantly impacts how Medicare works with your current health insurance.

For those working past 65, the interaction between employer insurance and Medicare varies by the size of the employer. 

  • Large Employer Plans (20+ Employees): Your employer’s insurance remains your primary coverage, allowing you to delay Medicare Part B without penalty as long as you have credible coverage. 
  • Small Employer Plans (<20 Employees): Medicare becomes your primary insurance, and you should enrol in Medicare Parts A and B when first eligible to avoid coverage gaps and penalties. 
  • Special Enrollment Periods (SEP): If you have employer-based insurance, you can sign up for Medicare without penalties during employment or for up to eight months after employment or group health plan coverage ends, ensuring a smooth transition and continuous coverage.

Steps to Manage Medicare While Working

When working past 65, compare your employer’s health coverage with Medicare to decide whether to enrol in Medicare Part A and/or Part B. Part A is usually free, so many enrol. While Part B has a premium and can be deferred if you have credible employer coverage. Ensure your employer plan qualifies as creditable to avoid penalties and notify Social Security if deferring Part B. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), remember that enrolling in any part of Medicare stops HSA contributions. So you may need to delay Medicare enrollment to keep contributing.

Financial Implications

When working past 65, it’s essential to understand the financial implications of choosing between employer health insurance and Medicare. Compare the costs of premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket maximums for both options. Medicare premiums vary, with Part B having a standard monthly premium and additional costs based on income, while Part A is usually free for most people. Deductibles and co-pays also differ between Medicare and employer plans. Assess whether staying with employer insurance or switching to Medicare offers potential savings or leads to additional costs. This comparison ensures you make the most cost-effective decision for your healthcare needs.

Read more: Medicare Basics 2024


Navigating Medicare while working past age 65 requires careful consideration and planning. Key points include understanding the coordination of benefits between employer insurance and Medicare. Assessing eligibility and enrollment periods, and weighing the financial implications of each option. It’s crucial to plan and seek advice from trusted sources, such as Medicare counsellors or HR professionals, to make informed decisions. By understanding how Medicare works and its implications for your healthcare coverage and finances, you can ensure a smooth transition into this new phase of life. Ultimately, embracing this knowledge empowers you to make choices that optimize your healthcare benefits and financial well-being as you continue to work past age 65.


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