When to sign up for Medicare if you’re still working past 65

Many people choose to keep working past 65 and keep their coverage under their employer’s group plan. But if you’ve been paying into Medicare via payroll deductions, you may as well enroll in Original Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) when you’re first eligible, as you’ll pay no premium.

For Medicare Part B (medical insurance), most people need to enroll when they turn 65 to avoid a late-enrollment penalty. Only people who have health insurance from their (or their spouse’s) current employer may be able to delay enrolling in Part B – and delay having to pay the monthly Part B premium. In 2024, that premium is $174.70 (or higher depending on your income).

Medicare’s Special Enrollment Period

If you’re 65 or older and your medical insurance coverage is under a group health plan based on your or your spouse's current employer, you may qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP). This process will let you sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the 8-month period that begins with the month after your group health plan coverage (or the employment it’s based on) ends—whichever comes first.1

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  1. “Special Enrollment Periods,” Medicare.gov, last accessed April 28, 2023, https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/get-more-coverage/joining-a-plan/special-enrollment-periods.