How to Disenroll from Medicare Part B

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

You may think that disenrolling means the same as opting out. And that may be so in general. But in a specific situation where you’re already enrolled in Part B, but then — weeks, months, or years later — you or your spouse starts a job with health benefits. If that happens, do you really need to keep on paying those Part B premiums?

You can disenroll from Part B and stop paying premiums for it in this situation — regardless of whether it was you or your spouse who landed this new job. In other words, you’re allowed to delay Part B without penalty if you have health insurance from current employment and the employer plan is primary to Medicare.

To disenroll from Part B, you’re required to fill out a form (CMS-1763) that you must complete either during a personal interview at a Social Security office or on the phone with a Social Security representative. For an interview, call the Social Security Administration toll-free at 800-772-1213 or call your local office.

Social Security insists on an interview to make sure you know the consequences of dropping out of Part B — for example, that you may have to pay a late penalty if you want to reenroll in the program in the future.

However, the penalty isn’t an issue if you’re leaving Part B to enroll in primary health insurance from an employer. In the event that you lose this coverage in the future, you won’t incur a late penalty as long as you sign up for Part B again within eight months of the job’s or the insurance’s ending (whichever happens first).

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