Outside the Box: Do I need to enroll in Medicare if I’m still working at 65?

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Stock Market

As we move toward retirement there are many questions as to how to proceed in different areas. When to claim your Social Security benefits is a key question. Another area that often elicits a number of questions and much confusion is Medicare.  One question that is often asked is, do I need to enroll in Medicare if I am still working at age 65? The answer, like a lot of things in the financial planning realm is, it depends. 

The basics  For those who are receiving their Social Security benefits at age 65, they will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits when you reach age 65, then you should enroll during the seven month enrollment window. This spans the three months prior to reaching age 65, the month you turn 65 and the three months after that. Failing to enroll in Medicare during this time period can result in penalties that in some cases take the form of permanently higher premiums.  What if you are employed at age 65?  If you are working at age 65 whether or not you are required to enroll in Medicare will depend on if you are covered by an employer’s health insurance plan directly, or through a spouse’s employer, and the size of that employer.  Employers with fewer than 20 employees  If you have health insurance coverage through your employer and there are fewer than 20 employees, then Medicare coverage will be primary in most cases and the employer’s coverage will be secondary. This also applies if your employer coverage is through …

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