Medicare Part B and COBRA

Over the years we have found there is a lot of confusion concerning Medicare Part B and COBRA. Many people think that as long as they have COBRA, they don’t need Medicare Part B. Unfortunately, the special rule for delaying Part B is based on current employment(either you or your spouse). COBRA is not considered current employment coverage. Most people are able to delay enrolling in Part B, as long as they are still working. Once the employment ends, however, the clock starts ticking. You will have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. If you wait for COBRA to end, or go past the 8 months, you can be subject to a penalty of 10% of your Part B premium for each year that you were not enrolled. And that penalty stays with you as long as you have Medicare. Even more important, if you miss that deadline, you would have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period(from January 1st until March 31st each year), and your Part B coverage wouldn’t start until July 1st. This could have devastating consequences if a serious illness were to strike during that time. Another important thing to remember is that your Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins when you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B. This is a one time opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, regardless of your health conditions. Some people go back to work, or get on a spouse’s current employment coverage, after enrolling in Part B. At this time, you may be able to disenroll from Part B, and enroll at a later time(such as when that employment ends), without a penalty. This can sometimes be a good strategy, but it is important to remember that your Medigap Open Enrollment doesn’t re-start. With more people working longer, delaying Social Security, or Part B, it more important now than ever to have good advice on your Medicare choices and deadlines. Please call at 877-740-8683, for a personal review of your situation.

Tell us what you think ...