I’m 65 and Still Working: What Now?


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More and more adults 65 and up are continuing to work. By doing so, they must decide if they want to remain on their employer-sponsored insurance plan or sign up for Medicare. Let us consider the possibilities and determine if either is a “better” option.

More Than 20 Employees

If there are at least 20 employees in the company, and you or your spouse have been actively working with the company, you can delay enrollment into Medicare until the employment ends or coverage stops. You would be allowed to enroll later without having to pay any late fees. From the time the coverage ends, there is an 8-month special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare.

It is crucial to be aware that “active employment” does not include those that receive retiree or COBRA benefits. You have to actually be working for the company to delay Medicare enrollment.

It is entirely up to you, the employee, to choose to stay with the employer plan and delay Medicare enrollment, abandon employer health coverage and register for Medicare, or have both employer and Medicare coverage at the same time. If you choose the latter option, you should consider that employer coverage would be primary. This would mean that the employer plan would first take care of what it can and then Medicare would cover the remaining amount. It may not be beneficial to pay the premiums for a Medicare plan that gets little to no use.

Less Than 20 Employees

The laws change for smaller employers. While larger employers are prohibited from requiring Medicare-eligible employees to register for Medicare and leave their employer plan, employers with less than 20 employees get to decide what their employees must do.

The employer may decide that their employee needs to enroll in Medicare, in which case, Medicare will become the primary plan and employer coverage will become a secondary plan. This means that Medicare will take care of what it can and then the group plan will cover what Medicare does not. Therefore, if you fail to enroll in Medicare when it is required, you could possibly be left with no coverage.

Weighing Your Options

Contrary to popular belief, you may get better coverage at a lower cost with Medicare instead of remaining on an employer plan. In recent years, there has been a  substantial rise in health care premiums, which has prompted employers to put higher deductibles and copays onto their employees. If you are over 65, you may be able to reduce your out-of-pocket costs by dropping your employer’s health insurance plan. Since most people do not pay Part A premiums, and Part B premiums are quite low, you may be able to get better coverage for your needed services.

Essentially, it takes time and research to decide what the best option is going to be for yourself. Comparing the price and coverage of employer health insurance and Medicare is guaranteed to help you make the right choice.

Life Insurance Questions?

We hope this information on 65 and still working is helpful.

If you’d like to learn how we can help you plan your retirement, call Empower Brokerage to speak to one of our Life and Annuity experts (888) 539-1633

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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