Questions about turning 65

I turn 65 in about 2 months. I’m still working and plan to continue working - probably until age 66. As such, I have no plans to begin Social Security or Medicare until then. Is there any documentation or paperwork I must file upon turning 65, or can I defer everything until I enroll, in either or both? Thank you!

Around the time of your 65th birthday, you need to go to your local social security office and take care of some things. They will assist you in setting up an account online to handle all your business (both social security and medicare). You will setup your medicare ‘stuff’. Some things must be done or you will pay a penalty on your medicare the rest of your life! Seriously. Your Part A and part D must be taken care of. Both will carry a penalty if not done correctly and they can help you there on the rules/compliance. Congratulations on your soon to be retired status. HTH…doc

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To emphasize: You MUST sign up for Medicare when you turn 65, [edit: remove this: “or whenever you go off your private insurance”, it’s a hard “65”, period.] you will pay a (significant) penalty in Medicare premiums for the rest of your life.

Not kidding. That’s the way it works.

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Actually LakeEffect, you have to do this even if you have any other insurance. If you don’t sign up for your Medicare Part A around the time of your 65th birthday you will pay a penalty for the rest of the time you are on Medicare. Just ask the people at the office when you go in to take care of the signup for SS/Medicare. Check everything. HTH…doc

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Unfortunately, you are too late for one thing. Before you turn 63, it would have been wise to review your income tax situation since it will feed into the possible surcharge you will pay when you do begin Medicare. Google IRMAA for current information on the surcharges.

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I was going to mention IRMAA to him because its important too…doc

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Thanks for the replies, you’ve confirmed what I have found in my own search, which is what I was hoping for.

This was my main point of confusion. As you point out - and the Medicare site confirms - the correct course of action is to enroll in all parts needed upon turning 65, and pay the premiums, even if still covered under private insurance.

Good advice for high-income applicants. Thanks again for all the replies.

That depends upon the medical insurance you have. If you have a “creditable” health insurance…the regular group health coverage that employers provide and with more than 20 employees…you can defer enrollment in part B and D without penalty. I have a feeling it also applies to part A but have no practical experience as both my husband and I had enough credits to be eligible for zero premium part A.

My husband has continued to work long after 65. He’s still working at 74 but switched from a full time contract to what’s essentially a per diem arrangement. As he was approaching 65, along with a whole slew of due diligence on my part ahead of time, I suggested he contact his human resources department…where he was told pretty much the story of signing up for part A and B to avoid future penalties even though he was continuing in the same capacity with same contract and compensation package beyond 65…and convinced by it. Even though, to my mind premiums for part B were unnecessary (no premiums for part A, of course)

By the time we did become 100% Medicare beneficiaries a couple of years ago, he’d paid part B premiums for about 7 years…but for the 3 years after I’d turned 65 I did not as I was included on his group plan. Just like I had been for the previous 30 or so. I incurred no penalty. Weirdest thing was that, in the process of signing up for part D, initially he did incur a penalty even though I did not. After a lot of back and forth between Medicare and UnitedHealth (our insurance carrier for the past few years and the insurance company we chose for our part D plan) it transpired that for some reason, per his Medicare records, he’d been without a creditable pharmaceutical plan for the past 18 months. How that happened I had no idea. I finally got it sorted but it took countless wasted hours on the phone with Medicare and UnitedHealth agents.

Long story short, if you have a creditable group health plan from an employer with more than 20 employees, your part B can be deferred penalty free.

Thank you for the reply. The Medicare web site appears to agree with you - if still working, and insured, past age 65, you must sign up within 8 months of losing your coverage. Since I don’t plan to work past my 66th birthday, I’ve decided it’s better to sign up at 65, even if it costs me a year’s premiums for Parts B, D, and Supplemental, to avoid any risk of complications.

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

I think I’d do that if there was the possibility of the aggravation I had. Basically, probably boiled down to someone not doing there job right and compounded by more people doing the same.

I have an excellent healthcare, (AT&T Blue Cross Blue Shield, mandated under the Legacy T CWA union contract) Once I retire, I will be able to retain for the contract imposed premiums until the end of the next contract.

For example, the current contract ends in 2026. If (big if) the next contract is four years and the contracted insurance benefits and the contracted premiums remain the same, I would be able to
keep my insurance for another four years at a premium of roughly 250 dollars a month. So, if retired shortly after the nee contract was signed, I would be 66 and would not need medicare until I was 70 and for this entire period I would have excellent medical care for myself and my wife.

Additionally, I might (MIGHT!) end up
with 100 percent VA healthcare. This means all of my VA prescribed medications would be 100 percent paid by the VA. So while my wife would need Medicare and Part B, C or D by 2030 I
might never have a need for it.

This really make me concerned about this
penalty thing.

Cheers
Qazulight

A valid concern - as posted upthread, failing to make the deadlines can result in some unpleasant penalties. From the link I provided above, Medicare states (more than once) that the 8-month window starts when you stop working, not when you lose coverage. so you may want to weigh all your options before you retire, regardless of your coverage at the time…

(from the link) * Your 8-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B starts when you stop working, even if you choose COBRA or other coverage that’s not Medicare.*

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Follow up question (thanks for all the input above). If one decides that an Advantage Plan is not for them, what is the best way, if any, to get dental and vision coverage?

Spent the afternoon looking into the issue, hence the answer to my own post. It appears the answer is an individual insurance policy, unrelated to Medicare, that is available for such things.

As mentioned, many Medicare Advantage plans include dental and vision coverage but I have decided Medicare Advantage is not for me.

I would say not. Dental “insurance” really isn’t…insurance, that is, whereby you’re somewhat insulated from high costs of unexpected injuries diseases etc. People want dental insurance in order to use it…for regular check ups, cleanings, fillings etc. Premiums are almost invariably disproportionately high for the coverage it provides.

Accept that you’ll be paying for it yourself, put money by, avoid the things that cause cavities and brush and floss diligently.