UNITED STATES—Toni: I have just enrolled in Medicare Parts A&B because I turned 65 in January. I am currently working with my husband and myself covered under my employer plan.

I am being charged a much higher premium for Medicare because our 2021 tax return showed higher earnings. Can you please explain what one turning 65 with employer benefits should do? I made a big mistake enrolling in Medicare and working with employer benefits and I need assistance to stop my Medicare Part B. Thanks, Tammy from Sugar Land.

Tammy: I have good news for you because Medicare does allow those turning 65 with employer benefits to delay Medicare Part B enrollment without a penalty when you want to enroll in Medicare later. Delaying Medicare does require you having employer group health coverage from your or your spouse’s employment.

Social Security must interview you to terminate Medicare Parts A and/or B by calling your local Social Security office. Discuss with the representative that you need to terminate your Medicare since you are covered by employer’s group health coverage and made a mistake by enrolling in Medicare. You will need to file Social Security form CMS-1763 to terminate Medicare Part A (hospital) or Part B (medical).

Here are the different Medicare enrollment options:

1)       Turning 65 and Receiving Your Social Security Check is the easiest way to receive your Medicare card. Medicare will send your Medicare card 90 days before you turn 65.

2)       Turning 65 and NOT Receiving a Social Security Check because you are still working or may not be working but waiting past 65 to receive 100 percent of your Social Security benefits. Enroll in Medicare online at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare to enroll in Medicare 90 days before you turn 65.

3)       Past 65 and “still working”- Talk to your Employer’s HR. Verify if you should delay enrolling in Part B because you or your spouse are “still working” and you are on an employer group health plan. When you or your spouse are no longer covered by an employer group health plan, at that time have your HR department fill out and sign Social Security form CMS-L564 “Request for Employment Information” and CMS-40B “Application for Medicare Part B. Call your local Social Security office and fax the forms to justify your delay in enrollment and avoid needless penalties.

Medicare enrollment situations that Do matter:

  • A Working Spouse: Does It Matter? If the working spouse is providing health insurance benefits from their current employment group health coverage, then you may want to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. You might continue to work either part-time or as a self-employed individual while taking advantage of the coverage provided by your working spouse.
  • Self-Employed: Does It Matter? Yes, it does. If you are turning 65, not covered under an employer’s group health plan, and waited to enroll in Medicare Part B, then you can receive a 10 percent penalty for each 12-month period that you were not enrolled in Part B when turning 65. If you waited 2 years to apply for Original Medicare Parts A and B. The Medicare Part B penalty will be a 20 percent penalty (2 years 65 and 66) every month for as long as that you are on Medicare or the rest of your life.

Please email the Toni Says® Medicare team at in**@to******.com or call 832-519-8664 regarding Medicare questions including Toni’s stress-free way to enroll in Medicare.

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