Retiring after age 65 and have Group Health? What you need to know and do about Medicare!
If you fall into this category, you need to know that you have to start the process of moving from your Group Health Plan into Original Medicare and the Healthcare plan of your choice minimally 3-4 months prior to retirement to ensure there is no lapse in coverage. With Social Security offices closed and their employees working from home, it is taking between 45 and 60 days for the process to be complete so you have your original Medicare Part A, if by itself, or Part B if you already have Part A. If you need both Parts A & B and over 65 years old, It could take up to 4 months to complete the process. Many people sign up for Part A when they turn 65 as Part A is free as long as you or your spouse has worked in the USA for 10 years or more, but did not take out Part B, as it was not needed because they are covered by a credible Group Health plan, where the employer has more than 20 employees. Lately, I have had a rash of people deciding they are retiring or have been offered a forced retirement package and will retire in less than 2 months. Some have Part A, while others do not. None have had Part B. Signing up for Part A is quick and easy online. However, you need your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier which is your 11-character Medicare ID number found on your red, white, and blue Medicare card before signing up for Part B which will take between 45 and 60 days currently. Signing up for Part B requires paperwork, if requested after age 65. There are 2 forms you will need to apply for Part B. The first one is the Part B application (CMS-40B) and is for you to complete. It is short and easy to complete once you have Part A. The second form is called Request for Employment Information (CMS-L564) and needs to be completed by both you and your employer. Each spouse needs both forms, if covered under the same Group Health Plan). Once both forms are properly completed, they need to be given to your designated local Social Security office for processing. If you get it to any office other than your designated local office, it will only further delay the process as the office you give it to will only forward it onto your designated local office for processing. Once your designated local office logs in your applications it will be 45-60 days before you get the documentation required so you can then sign up for the Medicare plan of your choice. Confused? I don’t blame you. If you need assistance, know I will offer my services to you at no cost. Contact me the moment you know or think you may want to retire to figure out your timeline to accomplish all this!