You are turning 65 in the next couple of months and all of the literature you receive in the mail, the ads you see on the tv and your friends remind you to sign up at age 65 or you will receive a PENALTY! That could be true or you could fall under a special enrollment period. Let's dive a little bit deeper.
There are three main enrollment periods for Medicare.
1. Initial Enrollment Period is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65 and the three months after you turn 65.
2. Special Enrollment Period - this is when you have creditable health coverage in place past age 65.
If you or your spouse continue employment past age 65 and stay on the employers health insurance plan you can delay signing up for Medicare. If you do not have an HSA account with a high deductible plan, I would recommend signing up for Medicare Part A only while you are still covered under an employer plan. Medicare Part A is free if you or your spouse worked 40 quarters. If you do have an HSA account you do not want to sign up for Medicare Part A - if you do, you can no longer contribute to your HSA account.
Some people pay more for their employer plan than they would if they went on Medicare. We help by analyzing the costs and helping you make the right choice.
3. General Enrollment Period
This is not an ideal time to sign up for Medicare. This is for people who missed their initial enrollment period and their special enrollment period. They must sign up between January 1st to March 31st for coverage to begin on July 1st.
One of the benefits of being a client of Harford Financial Group is that we have a dedicated individual to help you navigate this process. If you have questions feel free to reach out to Diane Kurek on our team. Diane can not only help you sign up for Medicare but also help you choose a supplement and a prescription plan.