By – Melanie Recchion
Depending on the type of coverage you have from your employer, you may have to enroll in Medicare Part B, even if you are still working. Here are a few important things to consider.
- Medicare Part A (Hospital) is premium free, if you or your spouse has worked 10 years or 40 quarters in your lifetime. Since there is no premium associated with Part A, most people choose to enroll when they first become eligible. You may enroll in premium-free Part A anytime after you become eligible.
- Medicare Part B (Medical) comes with a monthly premium of $121.80 in 2016. You are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B when you enroll in Medicare. You do have the option to turn down Part B, but should carefully consider doing so.
- When considering delaying Part B coverage, there are two things you should confirm. First, you must ensure you have active coverage from a current employer (or spouse’s current employer). The next thing you should know is whether your current employer coverage pays first and Medicare second or the other way around. For instance, delay Part B only if your current coverage does not change the way it currently pays after you qualify for Medicare.
- If your employer coverage only pays after Medicare (usually companies with less than 20 employees), you should enroll in Medicare Part B. If Medicare pays first and you fail to enroll, your employer coverage can reduce or refuse to pay for your healthcare expenses.
To find out how your employer coverage works, speaking to someone in the benefits department is usually the best place to begin. Once you have received the necessary information, calling a trusted, licensed AMAC agent can help you on your journey into Medicare.