If you are working and receive health care benefits from your employer, you may be concerned about whether you should sign up for Medicare benefits as soon as you are eligible. In some cases, you may be hit with late enrollment penalties if you don’t sign up for Medicare as soon as you become eligible. Here is what you need to understand how your employment affects your Medicare eligibility.
Signing Up For Medicare While Employed
If you have coverage through your employer, you can sign up for Medicare benefits. Your employer coverage will simply be one of the payers on your health care expenses. Medicare will be the other. In some cases, Medicare benefits will be the primary payer, but in others, they will be the secondary. The payer status for each insurance policy depends on where you are receiving the service and each policy’s network and benefits.
If you want to sign up for Medicare while you are still employed, you must determine whether or not you are eligible for Medicare benefits. If you’ve worked at least 10 years under Medicare-covered employment and paid Medicare taxes during each of those years, you will qualify for premium-free Part A benefits. Even if you have employment-based coverage, you will be automatically enrolled at age 65.
Delaying Medicare Enrollment
Some people hesitate to delay their Medicare enrollment because they are concerned about late enrollment penalties. Whether or not you will be required to pay late enrollment penalties depends on the size of your employer and when you choose to enroll. For most people that have qualified coverage, delaying Medicare enrollment will not result in a late enrollment penalty. To be safe, reach out to a Medicare specialist to answer any questions you have about Medicare enrollment.
Why Enroll In Medicare While Employed?
Even if you have an employer-based health care policy, you may still be interested in applying for Medicare benefits. This could be beneficial if Medicare pays for a necessary treatment that is not covered as well or at all by your group health plan. As mentioned previously, making sure you are enrolled sooner rather than later will also help you avoid costly late enrollment penalties.
COBRA And Medicare
Once your employer-based health insurance ends, you may choose to extend your coverage using COBRA. If you do decide to use COBRA, do not wait until that coverage ends to sign up for Medicare. You should have your application submitted far before your COBRA coverage ends in order to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Find A Medicare Plan
Are you looking for an Original Medicare policy or a Medicare Advantage plan? Get help from a qualified expert. The team at Fussell & Goodyear is ready to speak with you. Our specialists will help you find the answers you need to questions about Medicare. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.