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Contributor

Question - Adding Part B to Existing Part A Coverage Avoiding a Gap

Hello, I'm currently employed full-time and receive medical insurance (with a well known provider) through my employer. So, when I turned 65 (around 2.5 years ago) I signed up for Medicare Part A, but did not select Part B due to my employer sponsored coverage.

 

However, I may opt to retire sooner than planned and would like to consider adding Part B asap since I'll lose my employee plan within 30 days of leaving my job. So, is it possible to sign up for Part B and avoid a gap in coverage? Any tips on the possible options are appreciated. Thank you!

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Newbie

You need to contact HR and let them know the date you want to retire. They have a form which you'll provide to social security office which says you still work and have employer's insurance. I also took part A at 65 and worked for 14 months after that, but took my 1st social security benefit payment exactly at 66 while still working. They didn't deduct for part B until July, as I planned to gain my independence from work on 4th of July!  My part B started on July 1st so did supplemental G. Remember to sign up for part D at the same time to avoid permanent penalty.

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Gold Conversationalist

Have you visited the Medicare web site?

Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare | Medicare

 

If you want more than what Medicare provides have you checked in your area for providers of this coverage and what their coverage cost is?

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

As long as your employer's coverage was deemed "credible" when you 1st signed up and took Part A but delayed Part B (and maybe Part D) there is no problem signing up once your employer coverage ends.  It sounds like it should be credible. 

Then you have 8 months to enroll in Medicare once you stop working OR
your employer coverage ends (whichever happens first). But you’ll want to plan
ahead and contact Social Security before your employer coverage ends, so you
don’t have a gap in coverage.  Just do it so that one stops and the other begins if you can plan such continuing dates - sounds like this will be easy for your circumstances.


! WARNING !   Avoid the GAP and the LIFETIME Premium Penalties:

If you do not enroll in Part B within 8 months of losing your coverage based on current employment, you may have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty. (Part B &/or Part D).   If that happens, you would only be able to enroll in Part B during the Medicare General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31 each year) and your coverage won’t start until July. This may cause a gap in your coverage and the Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP) would apply.

 

After that, unless you have retiree coverage, you will have to decide how you want to get your Medicare benefits and coverage.  

 

This Medicare.gov pamphlet should answer your question in detail and tell you how to proceed to become a "full" Medicare beneficiary.   WELCOME ABOARD !

Medicare.gov - Sign Up for Part B Package

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Contributor

Thanks for the feedback 🙂

 

I'm fairly sure my employer provided insurance would be deemed "credible". It's a very comprehensive PPO from BCBS/Creedence covering myself and spouse.

 

When I initially signed up for Part A, I can't recall if an explanation was asked for concerning 'why' I didn't opt for Part B. But it sounds like as long as I contact/notify SS before my employer coverage ends... say within a 30 day window (?)... it's likely I'd be able to sign up for Part B without a gap in the B coverage, right?

 

 

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Conversationalist

You will be in a Special Enrollment Period, which means you don't have to wait to enroll.  We did this before the pandemic.  We were able to go to our local Social Security office.  It might be different now.  You will need to let them know when you want Part B to start.  Here is a link to help you see what you need.

 

https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/sign-up/when-can-i-sign-up-for-medicare#:~....)

 

You will need to apply for Part B and there is an additional form that needs to be completed.  This is the link to that form.  You fill out your part and your employer fills out the rest.

 

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.PDF

 

This isn't everything but I hope it will help some.

 

 

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Contributor

Thanks very much for the reply and links! Very helpful!

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