Signing up for Medicare is a critical period in your life as it will determine how much health coverage you receive. And as you get closer to retirement, you may wonder: can I be on Medicare and still work?
The answer is yes, as long as you meet the Medicare eligibility requirements. You become eligible to enroll in Medicare once you turn 65, and if you are a United States citizen or have been a permanent resident for over five years. Continue to read to learn more about what to do if you’re still employed and eligible for Medicare.
How Does Employer Health Insurance Work with Medicare?
If you decide to sign up for Medicare while still working, it is vital to know how your current employer insurance works with Medicare. If you have employer-sponsored insurance and Medicare, each type of healthcare coverage is considered a payer. When it comes to paying out a claim, the primary payer will be responsible for paying out your first bills.
The primary payer can either be your company’s health insurance or Medicare. However, you must check with your company’s insurance health provider to know if they will be responsible for paying first or not.
Enrolling in Medicare When You Already Have Employer Insurance
Not every senior who is still working has health coverage through their employer. However, suppose you are still working, and your employer provides a health plan. In that case, you may delay signing up for Medicare, especially if the healthcare plan offered by your employer is superior to those provided by Medicare.
Depending on the number of employees your employer has, you may need to enroll for Medicare. If you have health insurance through your company and they have more than 20 employees, then you don’t need to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 because the group plan offered by your company can serve as your primary payer, while Medicare will be your secondary.
Suppose your employer has less than 20 employees. In that case, Medicare will be the primary payer, and your employer’s health plan will be secondary.
Sign Up On Time to Avoid Penalties
Signing up late for Medicare is a big deal. If you delay enrolling for Medicare, you may face a potential gap in the health coverage, and your Medicare Part B monthly premiums will be increased by 10% for life.
If you are still working for an employer that offers health insurance coverage during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, then you can hold off enrolling in Medicare Part B without paying a late-enrollment penalty. Instead, Medicare will give you a Special Enrollment Period that starts the month after retirement or when your group health coverage is terminated.