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Can I Delay Signing Up For Medicare?

Are you planning on delaying in signing up for Medicare? Well, you can actually do that, but you may face a lifetime penalty for late enrollment and that’s on top of your monthly premiums.

If you or your spouse's current employer has 20 or more employees then you might be able to delay signing up for your Medicare Part A & Part B coverage without any penalties. You need to ask your benefits manager if you have a qualifying group health plan coverage also known as minimum essential coverage according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards.

When you or your spouse's employer has less than 20 employees you should sign up for Medicare’s Part A & Part B when you are first eligible to avoid paying a penalty that could last a lifetime as long as you have that specific coverage. You may also have a coverage gap where you will not be having any health care coverage especially if you decide to delay your enrollment.

If you’ve fully done your Medicare covered 40 quarters of employment and be eligible for premium-free Part A then you can enroll for Part A anytime after you’ve become eligible without having to pay for any penalties. However, if you have less than 40 quarters of Medicare covered employment and not eligible for a premium-free part A then you have to sign up for Medicare or face penalties.

You’ll automatically be enrolled to premium-free Medicare Parts A & B if you are residing in the United States and already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits for at least 4 months before turning 65 and being eligible to Medicare. Those who are eligible for automatic enrollment and living in Puerto Rico, however, will be enrolled only in premium-free Part A.

Those who are not receiving Social Security and RRB benefits will not be automatically enrolled and need to contact Social Security to enroll themselves and avoid paying a lifetime enrollment penalty.

If you need help or would like to ask questions about signing up for Medicare don’t hesitate to call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) toll-free or contact your local Social Security office.

To be eligible in Medicare, the following measures must comply:

  • Aged 65 and older
    Diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant)
  • Receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. Generally, you’re eligible for Medicare after receiving disability benefits for 24 months in a row.
  • Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

Medicare provides only basic health insurance coverage. It does not cover 100% of all hospital and medical expenses you might have. Medicare only covers 80% of most medical services under Medicare Part B. You will have to pay 20% of the cost, and there is no maximum on what that 20% can be. It also has large co-payments and deductibles for hospitalizations, etc. that comes out-of-pocket before it kicks in. Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) doesn’t cover certain benefits like routine vision and dental, prescription drugs, or overseas emergency health coverage. Due to these reasons, most people on Medicare will procure additional supplementary health care to cover any additional expenses.

If you are on Medicare, you might be eligible for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap). Though this also depends on your age and health status.

Medicare Supplement Insurance will cover some if not all of the expenses not fully paid by Medicare. You should consider purchasing one in order to fill in these gaps. You will not have to rely on your savings and cash in order to pay for any additional expenses that you might incur medically since it Medigap will cover it.

If you would like to compare plans, companies and prices that will supplement your needs money-wise, feel free to do it on our website or you can call our toll-free hotline (855) 230-0801 to talk to one of our Expert Medicare Advisors who will assist you in comparing plans and walk you through the process of signing up for one.