Many people go back to work after they have been retired for a while. Some do it for money and others do it because they are bored. Whatever your reason, this article “Can You Keep Medicare If You Go Back To Work” will explain to you what will happen with your Medicare coverage.
Most people sign up for Medicare when first eligible at age 65, either because they no longer are working or don’t have qualifying coverage through a job.
52.2 million Americans age 65 or older are on Medicare. Another 8 million or so beneficiaries are younger people with disabilities.
Most retirees pay no premiums for Medicare Part A, which provides hospital coverage. Part B, which covers outpatient care, comes with a standard monthly premium of $148.50 for 2021 (higher earners pay more).
Most people who have Medicare Part A & B, also have a Medicare Supplement plan (also know as Medigap). These plan cover some or all of the gabs that Medicare does not cover. Premium amounts for these plans vary widely because it depends where you live and what plan you choose.
Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage, is offered by private insurance companies who have been approved by Medicare. The premiums / copay’s & deductible for these plans varies by plan and where you live. Higher earners pay more for that coverage as well.
Going Back To Work
To answer the questions “Can You Keep Medicare If You Go Back To Work”? The answer is “YES”. Once you have your Medicare coverage, you can keep it if your going back to work. You don’t have to change anything.
Some people go back to companies which offer very strong benefits packages and they want to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, these are very uncommon today. There are a few things to be aware of before you consider dropping Medicare and switching to an employer plan.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
HSAs come with a triple tax benefit. Contributions are tax-deductible, earnings are tax-free and withdrawals also are untaxed as long as they are used to cover qualified medical expenses.
If you think that dropping Part A so you could contribute to an HSA might be an option, be aware that going that route would mean having to repay the government for any medical services you received under Medicare. If you were getting Social Security benefits, you’d need to give back that money, as well.
If you use a supplemental policy (also called Medigap) alongside Parts A and B, you’d have to drop that coverage. That’s even if you just opt out of Part B.
When you first sign up for Medicare, you get six months to buy a Medigap policy without the insurer charging you more or denying coverage due to your health status or pre-existing conditions. So if you drop it and re-apply later, the insurer can consider your health when deciding whether to cover you or charge you more (unless you live in a state that offers guaranteed coverage).
Re-Enrollment Into Medicare
As long as your employer-sponsored health care is considered qualifying coverage by the government, you get an eight-month window to re-enroll in Part B when you stop work or lose the group coverage.
If you miss that enrollment period, you have to wait for General Enrollment, which is January through March, and then your coverage would become effective July 1st of that year.
If you’re going to enroll in an Advantage Plan, that also can be done during your eight-month special enrollment period.
If you’re going to stick with basic Medicare (Parts A and B), you’d get two months to get a standalone Part D prescription drug plan once workplace coverage ends.
While you can download the necessary form for voluntary disenrollment from Part B, the agency requires either an in-person or on-phone consultation with one of its officials while you fill out the form.
“They want to make sure the person understands the consequences for dropping coverage”.
Very few people can benefit from dropping Medicare to go back to an employer plan. You better have a awesome plan that covers everything to justify dropping one of the best healthcare programs available.
Always talk to you HR department about your decision, they should be able offer advice on how there plans compare to medicare and how you will be affected in the future.