If you’re nearing 65 but still working and receiving health insurance through your employer, Medicare may not be at the forefront of your mind — however, it does need attention. While not everyone must sign up, many are required to enroll — unless they want to face late-enrollment penalties.
What we don’t want to have happen is for someone to assume he or she doesn’t need Medicare and mis enrolling in it when they should have. Roughly 10 million workers are in the 65 and older crowd, and the number has been steadily growing over the years, despite the Covid Pandemic.
The general rule for Medicare signup is unless you meet an exception, you are allowed a seven-month enrollment window that starts three months before you 65th birthday month and ends three months after it.
Having qualifying insurance through your employer is one of those exceptions. Here’s a brief snippet of what you need to know:
Original medicare consists of Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (outpatient care coverage). Part A has no premium as long as you have at least a 10-year work history of contributing to the program through payroll taxes. Part B comes with a standard monthly payment of $148.50 for 2021, although higher-income beneficiaries pay more through monthly adjustments.
About 43% of individuals choose to get their Parts A and B Medicare benefits through an Advantage Plan (Part C), which typically includes prescriptions drugs (Part D), and may or may not have a premium. The remaining beneficiaries stick with basic Medicare and can pair it with a Medigap policy and standalone Part D plan.
Remember, enrolling late into Medicare incurs penalties that can be life-lasting. For Part B, the surcharge is 10% for each 12-month period you could have enrolled but declined to. For Part D, the penalty is 1% of the base premium ($33.06 in 2021) multiplied by the number of full, uncovered months you didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage.
Are you still working and nearing the Medicare enrollment age? Give us a call — we can guide you and help you take the appropriate steps to avoid any long-lasting penalties!