7. When to Sign Up for Medicare
Every situation is different when it comes to enrolling in Medicare:
- Initial enrollment period (IEP) at 65: This is the time when you no longer have health coverage from your or your spouse’s employer. The IEP period will last for seven months. The fourth month is your birthday month when you turn 65.
- Initial enrollment for those under the age of 65: If you have a disability, then you might qualify for Medicare. The fourth month of your IEP is when you receive the 25th payment for disability. Social Security will contact you and let you known when your coverage starts. You get an another seven-month IEP at 65.
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP): This occurs after you turn 65 and takes place because you had health insurance with an employer via either yourself or your spouse at that time. If this is the case, then with SEP you can sign up without any late penalties. However, if your employer has fewer than 20 workers, they can request that you sign up before 65.
6. Health Savings Account
If you have a health savings account, be aware that you can no longer contribute to the HSA after you enroll in any part of Medicare. You will need to postpone signing up for Medicare Part A or Part B until you retire.
Also, you’ll need to postpone applying for Social Security because in such a situation you cannot opt out of Part A.
5. Your Spouse’s Medicare
Medicare offers no family package coverage. Every person must separately apply for Medicare. If your older spouse retires and takes Medicare and they were your source of health insurance, you will be required to find coverage for yourself through either your own employment, COBRA, or plans such as those offered by the health insurance marketplace.
If you and your spouse both have Medicare, then you will pay separate premiums, copays, and deductibles based on your own unique plans.