According to recently-released data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the percentage of retirement-age Americans in the labor force reached 20% in February 2019, which is double what it was in 1985.
With so many 65 year olds still in the workforce, we’re often asked what someone should do with respect to Medicare if they’re still covered on their employer plan.
There are some exceptions you need to be aware of, but in general, most people can delay signing up for Medicare until they leave their employer plan.
Exceptions and things to consider
- If your employer has fewer than 20 employees, Medicare will be your primary insurance. You will need to sign up for Medicare.
- If your employer coverage does not cover prescription drugs, you will need to sign up for a Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) in order to avoid penalties later on.
- Your employer coverage must be “creditable”, which is to say it must offer at least the same benefits as Medicare.
- You cannot contribute to an HSA in the six months leading up to when you enroll in Medicare.
- You may want to sign up for Medicare to help with out-of-pocket costs from your employer plan.
Advice from Medicare expert Phil Moeller
Phil Moeller, the author of Get What’s Yours for Medicare: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs answers reader questions about Medicare. We’ve compiled a list of questions that might address your specific situation more directly.
For future installments of Moeller’s column, send your questions about Medicare to [email protected].