What to Do about Medicare Part A If You Delay Part B

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Most people who delay Medicare Part B nonetheless sign up for Part A during their initial enrollment periods at age 65. In most cases, doing so has no downside because Part A requires no premiums if you or your spouse has contributed enough payroll taxes at work.

In most circumstances, you don’t risk late penalties if you delay Part A enrollment beyond age 65. (There are some exceptions.)

But the advantage of signing up for Part A during your initial enrollment period is in making sure that a Social Security official enters into your record the fact that you’re delaying Part B on the basis of current employment — just in case any argument about it arises later on. Also, if you need to be in the hospital, Part A may provide additional coverage to your employer plan.

One situation, however, comes with a very good reason for delaying Part A as well as Part B until you stop work: Your employer health insurance takes the form of a high-deductible plan paired with a Health Savings Account.

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