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Do I need to apply for Medicare If I am still working?

The central question to consider is how many employers are covered under your group plan at work? Medicare beneficiaries are exempt from any penalties if they are participating in an employer group health plan with 20 or more covered employees. You may or may not have to get on Medicare; this would depend on your company rules. I would recommend that you speak with your Human Resource manager or related person.

If you are not required to go on Medicare, you can continue participating in your group plan and maintain status quo. Upon retirement or when you decide to leave the group plan, you will have an opportunity to enroll in Medicare without any penalties provided you can show proof that you have had credible health coverage equal Medicare’s coverage. During that time you can select a Medicare Supplement, Part D & Medicare Advantage plan.

If your employer requires you to sign up for Medicare Part A & B, you will need to know if your employer will allow you to participate in the group health plan. The group plan would become primary, and Medicare would be the second payer. When you leave the group plan, you will have Special Enrollment Period that will last for eight months. However, the period for enrollment in a part D plan and a Medicare Advantage plan is only 63 days.

You may also decide to forgo the group plan altogether and sign up for an individual supplement plan. You should do a cost and comparison.

Most workers will consider adding Medicare Part A because it is free; It covers institutional care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, as well as certain care given by home health agencies and provided in hospices. If your employer group plan is a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account, you should NOT sign up for Part A, once you enroll in Medicare, your HSA contributions must stop.