To Delay or Not to Delay
Enrolling in Medicare may be the most confusing part of turning 65 for most people. There can be many different scenarios for different people. Some may be retiring and decide to stop working, others may still be working partially, and many people decide to fully retire after 65. Whatever you choose to do, make sure specific enrollment periods do not pass you by!
First thing’s first, determine when your Initial Enrollment Period is. This is the period three months before your 65th birthday, the month of, and three months after your birthday. During this seven-month time frame, your first opportunity to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) will arise. If you know you will be fully retiring at 65, then enrolling in Parts A and B will likely be the best choice for you. However, if you are going to continue working, then looking into delaying your Part B may be a good fit, too.
You may be able to delay your Part B the entire time you continue to work. After you retire, you have an eight month Special Enrollment Period to enroll to avoid penalties. If you do not have creditable coverage and wait to enroll in Part B, the penalty for waiting to enroll when you were first eligible is 10% of your monthly premium for each 12-month period you could have obtained your Part B coverage but did not. The longer you go without enrolling in Part B (without other creditable coverage), the higher you will pay in penalties.
What’s the point in delaying Part B?
Under Original Medicare, your Part B is the coverage you will use when attending a doctor’s office, receiving outpatient care, etc.; however, it also comes with a Part B premium. The 2020 monthly premium for your Part B is $144.60. This monthly premium is the reason that many individuals decide to delay their Part B because they have other creditable coverage.
How do I sign up for my Part B?
If you have delayed your Part B, you have two different options to enroll. You may either call the Social Security office to obtain the proper forms or visit your local Social Security office (currently, these offices are not accepting in person visitors due to COVID-19). If you decide to delay your Part B because you continue to work and have creditable coverage, then you will qualify for a Special Enrollment Period when you are ready to enroll.
It is important to note that if you have not worked the 40 quarters to guarantee your premium free Part A, then you must enroll in Part B to obtain and buy Part A.
What if I can’t afford my Part B Premium?
If you have limited income or resources, there are several programs to offer help for out-of-pocket expenses. You may wish to consider a Medicare Savings Program. There are many different types and, depending if you do not qualify for Medicaid, one maybe useful to you.
How can we help?
MWG Senior Services is equipped with agents ready to guide clients through the maze of Medicare! If you are coming upon retirement, this is the perfect time to give us a call. You will work with one of our agents who is going to be with you every step of the way. Give us a call today at (877) 759-5760.