Should you Delay Enrolling in Medicare?

Read this before enrolling in Original Medicare

by Amy De Vore+ on Apr 23, 2018 | 6 Comments

Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare part A and B at 65, but should you delay? While there are very few circumstances where one would delay Medicare Part A, there are reasons you would want to delay part B.  Under the right special conditions, it can save you a lot of money on Part B premiums.  If you delay B but don’t qualify for special conditions for the delay, however, you may end up playing a penalty…for life! So, as you guessed, delaying Part B depends on your situation.

This article was updated on April 23, 2018

Why would you Delay Part B?

While Medicare Part A typically does not have a monthly fee, Medicare Part B almost always does.  You can save paying for that fee by delaying enrollment into Medicare Part B until your work or your retiree health insurance ends. If you have credible coverage through work, part B would usually be redundant.

Delaying part B has a secondary advantage as well.  If you have qualifying insurance through work and delay your Part B, your initial enrollment period for Medigap and Medicare Advantage begins when you enroll in Part B (which could be years down the line). For those who sign up for Part B when first elegible their 4 to 6 month window starts ticking based on their part B effective date. Check out your Medicare Insurance deadline calculator here  So to recap: 1) You save money each month, and 2) You get a later enrollment period if you delay part B.

NOTE: Never delay your Medicare Part B if you do not have creditable coverage through an employer or similar.  Medicare penalizes those who miss this key deadline without work coverage.

You Don’t Have to be Automatically Enrolled in Medicare

Most people will be automatically enrolled in Medicare part A and B on their 65 birthday when they enroll to receive Social Security.  You can opt out of this “auto-enrollment” by not enrolling in Social Security when you first turn 65.

If you do enroll in Social Security, you can still opt out of Medicare Part B but it requires action on your part.


So, as you can see, enrolling in Medicare right when you turn 65 may or may not be the right option for you. Make sure to understand the insurance you have now, compare your costs, and decide which makes the most sense for you. For further questions about if you should enroll in Medicare when you turn 65 call 800-930-7956 or click here to get a Medicare Insurance quote.



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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Carol Deluca on December 03, 2016

I am enrolled in plan J and the premium is becoming prohibitive for me, thus I am considering changing to either plan G or plan F. First will I be permitted to switch plans? If yes could the switch only take place during the annual open enrollment period from Oct to Dec? What benefit will I lose if I change to plan G? what benefit will I lose if I change to plan F? What monetary saving would be gained by a switch? Thank you for your consideration.

In most states, you will have to go through medical underwriting to switch from Medigap Plan J to another plan. If you have pre-existing conditions you could be denied or charged more. Remember that Medicare's Annual Election Period (Oct 15 -Dec 7) is only to switch Medicare Advantage and Part D, or to rejoin Original Medicare, and has nothing to do with Medigap.

Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible, Plan F offers everything that can covered by Medigap plans. Here is a Medicare Supplement comparison chart. That way you can see what is offered and not. Also, remember, Medigap plans now cover preventive care -whereas Plan J charges you for that.

For further help, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By J.C. Eaton on May 11, 2016

I will be 65 in July 2016. I am still working full time and have private insurance through my employer.I am not filing for social security until July 2017, and plan to still work full time before retirement. My question is, do I need to enroll in Part A and B and part F if I want to have these when I retire 3-4 years from now to avoid penalty. Also, do I need to enroll in Part D also even though my employer covers health insurance and has a prescription plan to avoid penalty. Since not collecting social security are these costs bank drafted? Do I sound confused?

We do know how confusing this can be. So here is a quick breakdown: you can enroll in Medicare Part A, but delay Part B and D (prescription drug coverage) if you have qualifying job-based insurance, and not be penalized. When you do retire, you can enroll in Part B and D, as well as, enroll in Medigap with guaranteed issuance. Hope this helps!

For any further questions, please call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from

By Christina Imre on December 07, 2015

Just turned 65 and have health coverage through my large employer. don't want Medicare yet. Do I have to advise SSA or Medicare that I want to delay or opt out for now? If so, how do I do that? Any way to avoid the penalty? Thanks

You will need to let Medicare know that you are opting out of enrolling in Medicare Part B (usually you still enroll in Part A). You will not owe a penalty if you have qualifying health insurance. You'll want to can confirm if you work insurance is qualifying through your HR person. And you will contact CMS to delay your Part B coverage. Hope this helps!
-Amy from

By Maria on June 10, 2015

Good advice. Very solid.

By Chuck on May 05, 2015

I know you said it's a personal decision, BUT do you think it's better to go with an HSA or Medicare?

I know it sounds like a cop out, but it really is a personal decision to make. You have to weigh the benefits of an HSA against enrolling in Medicare and/or one of its health plans. But we're here to help. Please call us at 800-930-7956 and we can better assess your situation.
-Jacima from

By Henry on April 30, 2015

I'm 68, I have insurance through work, and am enrolled in Part B, should I cancel my Part B now?

That's a great question. While we suggest to confirm this with your HR person, usually once you're enrolled in Part B you do not want to disenroll. For further questions call us 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from

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