The past few years there has been a trend of many Americans working past age 65.  So, what do they do about their health insurance?  At age 65, a worker can apply for Medicare that will start the 1st of the month that they turn 65.  But what if their employer offers health insurance?  What do you do in this situation?

If your employer has more than 20 employees, your employer health insurance is primary to Medicare, which simply means it pays first.  In this situation, you are not required to enroll in either Part A or Part B of Medicare.  However, it may be in your best interest to sign up for Medicare Part A only, because there is no premium and it may help pay some Part A expenses like a hospital stay if you have a deductible in your Employer Insurance.  You probably do not want to sign up for Medicare Part B, though because it has a $ 170 or more monthly premium and may not provide much of a benefit.

You also have the option of deferring enrollment in BOTH Parts A & B.   You would want to do this if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible employer health plan, because you are not allowed to contribute to an HSA if you have any part of Medicare.

If you work for an employer with less than 20 employees that offers a health insurance plan, you must sign up for both Medicare Part A and Part B, because Medicare is primary and the health insurance plan is secondary.

Once you decide to retire from a company with more than 20 employees, you get a special enrollment period (SEP) that allows you to sign up for Part A and Part B, or Part B only if you already have Part A.  You can structure your Medicare to start the first day of the month after your employer plan ends.  Also, the SEP assures that you will not be charged a penalty for late enrollment in Medicare.

These rules can be complicated.  Feel free to email me or call with questions.


Edward Williams, CLU

Action Health Insurance Agency, LLC

O – 248-366-8680  C – 248-894-1365


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