Senior Resources » Can I Delay Medicare Enrollment?

Can I Delay Medicare Enrollment?

If you turned 65 and enrolled in Medicare, but are still covered under an employer’s healthcare plan, I have good news for you! Medicare will allow you to delay your enrollment without penalty. And what’s more, you can enroll in Medicare at a later time, once you no longer receive employee benefits. Here’s how!

medicare enrollment written on a notepad with pen

Social Security must interview you to terminate Medicare Parts A and/or B. Start by calling your local Social Security office. Discuss with the representative that you need to terminate your Medicare since you are covered by your employer’s group health coverage and made a mistake by enrolling in Medicare. You will need to file Social Security form CMS-1763 to terminate Medicare Part A (hospital) or Part B (medical).

What If My Spouse Works?

If the working spouse is providing health insurance benefits from their current employment group health coverage, then you may want to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. You might continue to work either part-time or as a self-employed individual while taking advantage of the coverage provided by your working spouse.


Related: Medicare Tips All Baby Boomers Should Know

What If I’m Self-Employed?

If you are turning 65, not covered under an employer’s group health plan, and waited to enroll in Medicare Part B, then you can receive a 10% penalty for each 12-month period that you were not enrolled in Part B when turning 65. If you waited 2 years to apply for Original Medicare Parts A and B, then the Medicare Part B penalty will be a 20% penalty (2 years 65 and 66) every month for as long as you are on Medicare (or, the rest of your life).

Related: Top 4 Most Frequently Asked Medicare Questions

Options For Enrolling in Medicare

Different options to enroll in Medicare are below:

  • Turning 65 and receiving your Social Security check is the easiest way to receive your Medicare card. Medicare will send your Medicare card 90 days before you turn 65.
  • Turning 65 and NOT receiving a Social Security check because you are still working (or may not be working but waiting past 65 to receive 100% of your Social Security benefits)? Then enroll in Medicare online at to enroll in Medicare 90 days before you turn 65.
  • Past 65 and still working? Talk to your Employer’s HR. Verify if you should delay enrolling in Part B because you or your spouse are still working and you are on an employer group health plan. When you or your spouse are no longer covered by an employer group health plan, at that time have your HR department fill out and sign Social Security form CMS-L564, “Request for Employment Information” and CMS-40B, “Application for Medicare Part B. Call your local Social Security office and fax the forms to justify your delay in enrollment and avoid needless penalties.

Originally published August 24, 2022

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