Working Past 65? You Still May Need to Enroll in Medicare
If you are 65 or older and working for an employer who provides health insurance, it still may be important for you to sign up for Medicare. Medicare rules require enrollment for those over 65 who are not covered by an employer’s health plan that covers at least 20 employees.
Failing to enroll can accrue a late-enrollment penalty when you do eventually sign up equal to 10% of the Part B premium for every 12 months you delayed enrolling. The basic Part B premium for 2013 is $104.90, or higher for those with modified adjusted gross income over certain thresholds ($85,000 single, $170,000 joint).
Failure to sign up could also truncate your other coverage. That’s because Medicare is the primary payer for those over 65 who are not under a plan covering 20 or more employees. Health insurers generally will not pay a claim for such an individual until Medicare has paid its share (generally 80% of the bill). But the person must be enrolled in Medicare for that predicate payment to occur.
You may feel your current coverage is “better than Medicare,” but it’s best to double-check on exactly where you stand with respect to the enrollment requirements. You may or may not be able to retain your current coverage as supplemental insurance, or you may want to shop around for alternatives.