What If I’m 65 and Still Working?


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There is an increasing number of adults 65 and up that are choosing to stay in the workforce. This requires them to decide between continuing with their employer-sponsored insurance plan or signing up for Medicare. Let’s discuss the possibilities and determine if either option is better.

More Than 20 Employees

For an organization with more than 20 employees, if the individual or their spouse has been actively working with the company, they can delay enrollment into Medicare until the employment ceases or coverage ends. There is an opportunity to enroll at a later time without sustaining any late penalties. Once the coverage ends, the individual is allowed an 8-month special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare.

It is necessary to understand that “active employment” does not include those receiving retiree benefits or COBRA benefits. You have to actually be working for the company in order to receive that delay in Medicare enrollment.

You, as the employee, have the sole choice in deciding whether to stick with the employer health plan and delay Medicare enrollment, withdraw from employer health coverage and sign up for Medicare, or have both employer and Medicare coverage at the same time. If you choose to keep both, it is important to consider that the employer health plan would be the primary insurance source. This would mean that the employer coverage would take care of what it can first and then Medicare would cover the remaining cost. So, there may be no benefit in paying a monthly premium for a Medicare plan that gets little to no use.

Less Than 20 Employees

The laws differ from larger to smaller employers. As opposed to being prohibited from requiring Medicare-eligible employees to sign up for Medicare and drop their employer plan, smaller employers get to decide what their employees must do.

The employer can decide that the individual needs to enroll in Medicare. If that becomes the case, Medicare will become the primary plan and employer coverage will come be the secondary plan. This means that Medicare will take care of what it can first and then the group plan will cover what Medicare does not. Therefore, if you fail to enroll in Medicare when it is required, you can be left with no coverage.

Weighing Your Options

Unlike most people’s beliefs, with Medicare, you may be able to get better coverage at a lower cost as opposed to an employer plan. Recently, health care premiums have skyrocketed, which has made employers place the burden of higher deductibles and copays on their employees. If you are working over 65, you may reduce the out-of-pocket costs by dropping your employer’s health insurance plan. Since most people pay nothing for Part A, and Part B premiums are quite low, you may get better coverage for much-needed services.

Overall, you need to take the time to research and determine what the best option will be for you. Compare the price and coverage of employer health insurance and Medicare to make the right choice.

Got Medicare Questions?

We hope this information on 65 and still working is helpful to you.

If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, call Empower Brokerage today. Let us help with your Medicare questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most. (888) 446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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