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Test Your Knowledge of Medicare
(Updated: 09/10/2018)

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those age 65 or older and for younger people with disabilities. The typical enrollment window begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your 65th birthday. Many individuals are eager to enroll in Medicare as soon as they are eligible. But if you are currently covered by group insurance through an employer or a spouse’s employer, you may qualify for a special enrollment period that allows you to delay Medicare enrollment without paying a penalty.

Which of the following is true about delayed enrollment in Medicare for those who are 65 and covered by group insurance through an employer or a spouse’s employer?

  1. The size of the employer determines whether you can delay enrolling in Part A and Part B without having to pay a penalty
  2. You have an eight-month enrollment period that begins the month after your employment or insurance coverage ends—whichever comes first.
  3. COBRA coverage, which continues your health insurance through the employer’s plan after your employment or coverage ends, is not considered “insurance based on employment” and does not qualify for penalty-free delayed enrollment.
  4. All of the above.

Answer: D

You can delay enrollment in Medicare if you are covered by your or your spouse’s employer’s group health insurance plan if the employer has 20 or more employees. If the employer has fewer than 20 employees, you should sign up for Part A and Part B when you’re first eligible, as Medicare will pay before your other coverage. When your employment or coverage ends, you have eight months to sign up for Medicare to avoid a late-enrollment penalty. If you have COBRA coverage, you will not be protected from late penalties if you wait to enroll in Medicare past the deadline.

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