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Do you Have to Sign up for Medicare at 65 if you are Still Working?

Retirement can be an exciting time for most people. Along with retirement comes figuring out which health coverage path to take. Some of you may still be working past retirement age, and that is where enrolling in health coverage can get a little confusing. Many individuals struggle with the question, “Do you have to sign up for medicare at 65 if you are still working?” There are quite a few options out there, so you want to be sure you are choosing the one that works best for you. Be mindful of the possible penalties that could come with not enrolling in Medicare when you turn 65.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from Medicare-eligible Employees

  • Does Medicare come automatically, or do I need to enroll?

  • What are Parts A and B of Medicare? Do I need both?

  • Does Medicare replace my coverage at work?

  • Can I keep my employer’s medical plan and continue working past 65?

  • Will Medicare premiums be taken out of my Social Security check?

  • I have VA benefits. Should I enroll in Medicare when I turn 65?

The Late Enrollment Penalty If you are still employed after you turn 65 and your employer provides insurance coverage, then you do have the option to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B (outpatient care, medical insurance). An issue with delaying your enrollment in Part B is that you could end up paying a penalty when you get around to enrolling. For every year you do not enroll, you will pay a premium that is 10% more than it would have been originally. However, there is a way around the penalty. While you are still working, your health coverage from your employer will be just fine alongside Medicare part A (hospital, inpatient care). After you retire, you will have eight months to enroll in part B without worrying about accrued penalties. Once you leave your full-time job, though, your healthcare benefits from your employer no longer apply. Your Health Coverage Options The main health coverage options when you are near retirement age or have entered retirement: group healthcare plan and Medicare. Group Health Plan One of these options is having group coverage through your employer if you have not stopped working. Group coverage plans are either the HMO or PPO plans provided by your current employer. These types of plans may not give you all the benefits that you need.


The Medicare option is for anyone turning 65 years old. The Initial Enrollment Period for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) opens the month before you turn 65 and ends the month after you turn 65. Whenever that opens for you, talk to your employer about how their benefits work with Medicare. In addition, to Original Medicare, you may find that supplemental coverage is needed to cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, reduce co-insurance costs, etc. This is where Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements come into play. What comes next? Now that you know the answer to the question, “Do you have to sign up for medicare at 65 if you are still working?” What comes next? Medicare-eligible employees can take advantage of an individual cost-benefit analysis that matches up specific needs with employer-sponsored healthcare, COBRA, and Medicare coverage options.

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