Did you realize that for many people the full retirement age has changed? For those born in 1937 or earlier it was 65, but after that it goes up on a graduated scale until for those born in 1960 or later it reaches age 67. You might feel healthy and vigorous and have no intention of retiring even when you reach your full retirement age, and as far as social security benefits are concerned, that’s great; the longer you wait the greater the benefits. But that is not at all true of Medicare. If you don’t sign up when you are supposed to you may face penalties.
Initial Enrollment Period
Your IEP begins three months before you turn 65, includes that month, and ends three months after you turn 65, for a total of seven months. At this time most people sign up for Medicare Part A because there is no premium; it doesn’t cost them anything. Parts B and D, however, have monthly premiums, so it’s important to know when you can delay signing up.
Special Enrollment Period
If you decide not to sign up for Part B right away, to avoid penalties you need to notify Medicare. If you qualify due to your current employer health insurance, your eight-month Special Enrollment Period is extended to when you retire or when your employer insurance ends. If you don’t sign up for Part B then, you will be charged a penalty of 10% of the yearly premium for every 12-month period you delay. This penalty can get quite high, and will last as long as you have Medicare. If your employer provides you with drug coverage, you’ll have two months to sign up for Medicare Plan D after it’s terminated.
In conclusion, seniors, if you are fit and strong there is no reason to stop working if you don’t want to, but be aware of and consider your Medicare options on time to avoid facing penalties.