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Medicare: Should You Sign Up If You’re Still Working and Have Health Insurance?

Sometimes we get emails from seniors who have already turned 65 and qualified for Medicare, but they’re still working and have affordable health insurance through work. Do they have to sign up for Medicare, they ask? Most of these seniors enjoy working and really would prefer not paying additional health insurance premiums for Medicare when they like the health insurance they they get through their work already.

And the answer is, of course not. If you qualify for Medicare but are getting health insurance through your work or your spouse’s work, you do not have to sign up for Medicare. (We do suggest that you carefully check your health insurance policy and make sure that it has enough coverage for all of your medical needs in case you become ill or have a medical emergency, though).

However, in the event that you lose your job and your employer-based health insurance, a good rule of thumb is to sign up for your Medicare right away to avoid any possible penalties or waiting periods. However, if you have been getting health insurance through your spouse and he or she signs up for health insurance through COBRA, you will have a grace period of eight months to sign up for Medicare without penalties.

Unsure of when you should sign up for Medicare? Talk to your human resources department and and/or call the Social Security Administration. Another good resource is Medicare itself: 1-800-MEDICARE.

Have you signed up for Medicare? Tell us about it!

Related posts:

  1. COBRA Health Insurance Subsidy, Medicaid, Medicare: Where Are We Now?
  2. Medicare Open Enrollment Is Here! Are You Ready?
  3. Medicare Open Enrollment: Are You Considering a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Plan?
  4. Healthcare Reform: How Will the Medicare Advantage Cuts Affect Me?
  5. Reminder: You Don’t Have To Be A Senior to Qualify for Medicare Health Insurance

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