You’re 65 and Still Working. Should You Sign Up for Medicare?
The number of people working beyond 65 is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost a third of adults 65-74 will work in 2026.
If you are 65 or older and among those still working, then you probably receive benefits through your job, including health insurance. And if you still get health insurance through your employer, you may not see a reason to sign up for Medicare benefits as well.
We’ve compiled some information to help you make your decision. You may be surprised at just how many reasons there are to sign up for Medicare, regardless of your employment status.
You Could Save Money With Medicare
How much of the premium are you responsible for paying on your health insurance? If it’s a pretty large number, then you may save by switching to Medicare. Do a comparison to help you determine how to maximize your savings. Look at your current coverage to calculate out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
Next, calculate the same things for Medicare. Also look at expenses that may be covered under one plan but not the other. You should come away understanding which option offers the better deal.
Medicare Part A Is Often Free
A majority of people over 65 qualify for free Medicare Part A (which covers hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care and more) because they have worked for at least 10 years. Often Part A offers coverage for things your employee insurance plan doesn’t cover, but this isn’t always the case. Once again, you should compare the benefits to see what works best for you. Talk to your benefits administrator at work to learn more.
Sometimes, it is mandatory to enroll in Part A. For instance, if your employer has fewer than 20 employees and the health coverage is not a part of a multiemployer group plan, then you have to sign up for Medicare Part A when you turn 65.
And if you want to continue contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you shouldn’t sign up for Medicare. People enrolled in Medicare are prohibited from contributing to an HSA. You should end your contributions at least six months before you do sign up for the HSA to avoid potential tax penalties.
Keep in mind that if you stop working or you lose your employer coverage, you should enroll in Medicare Part A immediately. Failing to do so will result in a penalty and could spark a gap in insurance coverage, too.
You Should Probably Delay Medicare Part B Enrollment
Medicare Part B covers doctor’s visits and other routine outpatient services. You have to pay for Part B, unlike Part A, so it may not make sense to sign up — and, in fact, you could incur penalties if you have an employer plan and Part B at the same time.
However, if your employer has less than 20 employees, you do have to enroll in Medicare Part B and make it your primary insurance. If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B within eight months of when you retire or your employer coverage lapses, then you will have to pay a penalty for the rest of your life. You also might have to delay enrollment.
Medicare requirements can seem complex if you aren’t well-versed in their nuances. To ensure you make the best decisions for yourself, your family and your finances, contact Jay to discuss your questions.