Your Medicare needs are not the same as your friends. Discussing Medicare with those who do not know Medicare’s specific rules, can only confuse you. Below are a few common Medicare questions and answers to clear up some confusion you may have!
Is Medicare enrollment automatic?
Medicare enrollment is automatic only if you have already claimed Social Security benefits by the time you turn 65. When not receiving your Social Security check, you will not receive your Medicare card and will need to apply online (if you aren’t working full-time with employer benefits).
Toni Says: Failing to sign up at the right time is costly! Especially when you’re over 65 and leaving employer benefits.
Should I enroll in Medicare even if offered COBRA health insurance when I leave my job?
Yes! Enroll in Medicare! Although you might need COBRA to cover a spouse or dependent child, Medicare should be your primary insurance coverage once you are 65 and not working full-time. You will want to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Explore which option is best for your situation – a Medicare Supplement that works with Original Medicare and a stand-alone Part D plan, or, a Medicare Advantage plan with Part D.
In today’s health insurance world, many COBRA health plans will allow the COBRA retiree who has Medicare Parts A and B to opt-out of the COBRA plan, while the family remains on COBRA.
What if I become unemployed or retire, enroll in Medicare, and then go back to working full-time?
If your new employer provides health insurance, you can disenroll from Medicare Part B by contacting your local Social Security office and request the form to delay your Part B. You can re-enroll when you finally retire without paying late enrollment penalties by having your employer sign and file CMS-L564 “Request for Employment Information” form with Social Security.
Toni KingContributing Writer
Toni King is an author, columnist, and radio and TV personality who specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and long-term care planning. While conducting a Medicare workshop in 2009, Toni was approached by a member of the audience who had received incorrect information about his Medicare Part B enrollment from Social Security. After taking a couple of days to help the gentleman straighten out his overwhelming problem, Toni’s new mission had become clear. Following more than 27 years as a top sales leader in the Medicare insurance industry, Toni would become an advocate for Americans receiving Medicare. Since then, Toni has devoted her life and career to putting Medicare into “people terms” with the help of her books, consultations, workshops, and website, ToniSays.com. Read more from Toni King.