Are you required to join Medicare?
The first step of making the RIGHT Medicare decision is knowing when to join Medicare.
Regrettably, too many people get this wrong, which costs them money and creates unnecessary headaches.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to joining Medicare.
The rule says:
By the time you turn 65, you either need to be on Medicare or be covered under an acceptable health insurance plan and if you aren’t, you will face penalties.
This rule is fairly straightforward for people who don’t have another source of health insurance, but it gets complicated for people who do have another source of health insurance.
Please pay close attention if you get your health insurance through an employer past your 65th birthday.
Your insurance plan must meet these three requirements to meet Medicare rules and be creditable:
- Do you have health insurance through a current or past employer?
If you have health insurance through a current or past employer after 65, you must confirm if the plan requires you to join certain parts of Medicare. Some employer and retiree plans require you to be on Medicare Part A and B, so it’s essential to understand the plan requirements to avoid penalties. (This rule usually applies to Federal, State, and certain Veteran programs.) So, Please check with your HR department.
- Does the employer providing the health insurance have 20 employees or more, or 100 employees or more if you are disabled?
If the employer doesn’t meet these requirements, you will need to join Medicare at 65 to avoid penalties.
- Is the employer prescription plan deemed “creditable”?
“Creditable” means that the plan on average covers prescriptions as well as, or better than Medicare. Your company is required to confirm this for you every year through a newsletter or personal letter.
If you don’t know if it’s creditable, contact the Human Resources/ benefits person at your company.
If your plan meets all three of these requirements, you likely will not be required to join Medicare.
However, based on your unique situation, it may still make sense for you to join Medicare to save money, or to access different doctors or less expensive medications.
To easily make the right Medicare decision, contact an Ashford Insurance Agent, or call our Hurst office at 817-952-3153.