If you are over 65, have an employer plan, and want to enroll in Medicare Part B, you will need to verify with Social Security that you have had “creditable coverage” with a major medical plan. This verification will eliminate any fines associated with enrolling in Part B if you are over 65.
You will also need to provide evidence that you have had creditable Part D coverage as well.
Your HR department can tell you if you have creditable health and drug plans. If either of those plans are not creditable, you could be subject to late enrollment penalties for both Part B and Part D. It’s unusual to find an employer plan that is not creditable.
We advise that once you learn when you will be leaving your employer plan, then you can put a strategy in place to activate your Medicare coverage. It’s a good idea to start around two months prior to ending your employer coverage. If you are suddenly laid off or terminated, it necessitates you move quickly. Here is how to apply for Part B.
What’s next? It takes about 2-3 weeks to get a notification that your Part B has been approved. You will usually receive a letter stating your date of enrollment and a card which follows the letter. After you get the letter, we can meet and enroll you in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Plan to start the month after your employer coverage ends. We plan that you will have no gap in coverage.
Part D requires a letter from HR on company letterhead stating your dates of creditable drug coverage under the employer plan. You won’t have to give that to Social Security, but when you enroll in a Part D drug plan, the plan’s carrier will want that letter to avoid assessing you a fine for Part D late enrollment.
By the way, you can enroll in Part A when you turn 65. Most everyone will have no premium for A as your taxes have already paid for A. It’s good to get that done before you apply for B as it may delay the process if you haven’t enrolled in A.
We are here for your questions.