Toni says: How can I stop my Medicare Part B?

Tony:

I just joined Medicare Part A and Part B because I turned 65 in January. I am currently working and my husband and myself are covered by an employer plan.

Since our 2021 tax return shows higher income, I pay higher Medicare premiums. Can you explain what a 65 year old with employer benefits should do? I made a big mistake enrolling in Medicare and using my employer benefits and I need help stopping my Medicare Part B. thanks.

-Tammy from Sugar Land, Texas

toni king
toni king [ Courtesy of Toni King ]

Tammy:

I have good news for you because Medicare does allow those who turn 65 and have employer benefits to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B without penalty if you want to enroll in Medicare later. Delaying Medicare does require you to get employer group health insurance from your or your spouse’s job.

Social Security must interview you to end Medicare Parts A and/or B, and you can do this by calling your local Social Security office. Discuss with a representative that you need to terminate your Medicare because you were covered by your employer’s group health insurance and enrolled in Medicare by mistake. You need to file Social Security form CMS-1763 to terminate Medicare Part A (hospital) or Part B (medical).

Here are the different Medicare enrollment options:

1. If you are 65 or older and receiving a Social Security check, this is the easiest way to get your Medicare card. Medicare will mail your card 90 days before you turn 65.

2. If you are turning 65 and have not received your Social Security check – either because you are still working or not working but will not receive 100% of your Social Security benefits until after age 65, you can enroll in Medicare online at for www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare 90 days before turning 65.

3. If you are over 65 and still working or your spouse is still working, you should consult your (or your spouse’s) employer’s human resources department. Check to see if you should defer Part B because you and/or your spouse are enrolled in an employer group health plan. When you/your spouse are no longer covered by an employer group health plan, ask Human Resources to complete and sign Social Security forms CMS-L564, Application for Employment Information and CMS-40B, Application for Health Insurance Part B. Call your local Social Security office and fax the form to justify your late registration and avoid unnecessary penalties.

Health insurance enrollment does matter. Here’s a couple:

  • Work spouses: If your work spouse provides health insurance benefits from their current employment group health insurance, then you may wish to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. You may continue to work part-time or as self-employed while taking advantage of coverage provided by your working spouse.
  • Self-employed: If you are age 65 or older, are not covered by your employer’s group health plan, and are waiting to enroll in Medicare Part B, you will receive a 10% penalty for each 12-month period that you were not enrolled in Part B. So if you wait until you’re 67 to apply for Original Medicare Parts A and B, you’ll pay an extra 20% each month toward your Medicare Part B for as long as you’re on Medicare or for the rest of your life.

‘Confused about health insurance’ Zoom returns in 2023!found the link www.Tonisays.com Register for the session on Thursday, February 9th from 6pm to 8pm ET.

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Toni King is an author and columnist on Medicare and health insurance issues. She has been a top sales executive in the field for over 27 years. For a Medicare check, please email: info@tonisays.com Or call 832-519-8664.You can now visit www.seniorresource.com/medicare-moments Listen to her Medicare Moments podcast and get additional info on baby boomers/seniors.