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continue working past 65

Do I need Medicare if I continue working past 65 ?

Now, we’ve discussed who can qualify for Medicare, but before we delve into what Medicare can do for you, let’s talk about something you might be thinking about ─ working past the age of 65.

Your Medicare choices can vary if you’re planning to continue working after turning 65. In fact, you might even have the option to delay signing up for Medicare altogether.

You may be able to delay if …

This option usually applies to people working for a company with 20 or more employees and having employer health coverage that meets Medicare’s “creditable” standards. What does that mean? Well, your employer’s health plan, including prescription drug coverage, must be as good as or better than what Medicare offers.

You may need to enroll at age 65 if …

On the flip side, people with health coverage from an employer with fewer than 20 employees must enroll in Medicare at age 65 or they could face late enrollment penalties.

What if I have coverage through my spouse’s employer?

But what if your health insurance is through your spouse’s employer? In this case, it can get more complicated.

You might still be able to delay Medicare enrollment, or you might need to enroll when you turn 65, even if your spouse’s employer has 20 or more employees. The reason? Employers can have their own rules for covering dependents. Some may require dependents of Medicare age (65 or older) to enroll in Medicare to maintain coverage under the employer’s plan.

In case this applies to you, reach out to your spouse’s employer’s benefits administrator for guidance.

Getting Medicare While Working

When taking Medicare while you’re still working, there are some crucial things to keep in mind:

1. Coordination with Employer Insurance

Your Medicare benefits can seamlessly complement your employer-provided insurance. Medicare generally acts as the secondary insurer until you either retire or lose your employer’s coverage, whichever comes first. At that point, Medicare becomes your primary source of coverage.

2. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

If you enroll in any part of Medicare, you won’t be able to continue contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA). This is an important consideration, especially if you’re eligible to delay Medicare enrollment and continue working. While Medicare Part A seems like a great choice since it’s often premium-free for most people, it might not align with your HSA contributions.

3. Coverage for Spouse and Children

Remember that Medicare won’t cover your spouse or children. If you choose Medicare and drop your employer’s coverage, you’ll need to talk to your employer’s benefits administrator to explore the options available for your family. Some employers will offer COBRA, so make sure you understand how this decision impacts your loved ones.

So, if you’re planning to work past 65, you’ve got options to consider when it comes to Medicare. It’s all about finding the path that suits your needs best.

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