If you’re joining the ranks of workers 65+, Medicare might be the last thing on your mind. But when 65 is just around the corner, there are some important things you should know.
4 Common Medicare Questions
1. Can I delay signing up for Medicare Part B?
If you have medical coverage through an employer, or you’re covered under your spouse’s employer plan, you can delay enrolling in Medicare Part B, which covers medical services, without paying a penalty. Many people don’t enroll in Medicare Part B until they stop working.
Once you’re not covered under your employer plan (or your spouse’s), you’ll have eight months to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty.
2. How does enrolling in Medicare affect my HSA plan?
If you have a health plan through your employer and it includes a health savings account (HSA), signing up for Medicare Part B, or being enrolled in Medicare Part A, will change things. You can stay on your employer plan, but you can’t add money to your HSA once you enroll in Medicare.
If you’re considering this option, it’s a good idea to check with a financial adviser. They know the ins and outs of how Medicare will affect your HSA and your taxes, and can help you figure out your best option.
3. When should I start planning for retirement?
Choosing a Medicare plan can be a long process! There’s a lot to consider and it takes time to find the right plan for you. If possible, I recommend starting your search about 6-9 months before your retirement date. This gives you enough time to look into the plans that interest you.
If you don’t have that much time, call plan advisers at private insurance companies that you’re interested in, or meet with someone who sells plans from multiple insurance companies (called a broker or agent) one-on-one. They can help you quickly find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
Related content: Questions to Ask When Buying a Medicare Plan
4. How will my current employer plan work with Medicare?
If you have Medicare and also have health insurance through your job, these plans will work together. The coverage through your job will pay for some services, and your Medicare plan might cover some other services. If you have questions about Medicare choices as an employed person, ask for advice from your current plan or benefits office.