Medicare Answers at a Glance: Should I Delay Part B?
Medicare Part A is free, so there isn’t much hesitation to enroll outside of HSA contribution issues. But with Part B, there is a $121.80 associated premium, so those approaching 65 are a little bit leery. Do I really need it?
Let’s make this clear: most people do. So before you make the decision to opt out, make absolute sure that you are one of the few who don’t!
You should NOT delay Part B if…
1. You are retiring from work.
Retiree insurance or COBRA doesn’t count. If you don’t have employer insurance through active employment, the answer is simple: don’t delay Part B. You will be left without outpatient coverage for as long as don’t enroll, and you will incur penalties if you sign up late!
2. Your employer’s health insurance plan covers 20 or less employees.
Just because you have employer insurance and are still working does not give you an all-access pass to opt out of Part B. If the plan doesn’t cover at least 20 people, you should definitely enroll in Part B. But take careful note. The number of employees is not always the same as the number of insured employees. Some temporary or part-time workers may not be covered on the employer insurance plan. Check with your employer before making any hard and fast decisions.
3. Your employer insurance is more expensive
This may seem obvious, but I felt compelled to include it. Just because you can delay Part B doesn’t mean you want to. Analyze the costs and benefits of both Medicare and your employer insurance to determine which is the better value.
If these three criteria don’t apply to you, you may very well qualify to delay Part B. But I always recommend running your situation past a Medicare expert to make sure. Retirement decisions are as complex as they are important. Get help when you need it!
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