Employer/Retiree Coverage

I am 66 years old, work for a large employer, and have health insurance coverage through my job. I am planning to keep working for a few more years and keep the coverage that my employer offers. What are my coverage options when I stop working?

When you stop working and/or your group health insurance coverage ends, you should enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you’re eligible for premium-free Part A, you can sign up any time after you’re first eligible for Medicare. Your Part A coverage will go back retroactively 6 months from when you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you were eligible). You have an 8-month Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in Part B after your employment (and/or group coverage) ends to avoid facing a penalty for late enrollment. You may want to sign up for Part B in the few months before your group coverage ends to avoid a gap in coverage.

If your employer does not offer retiree health benefits for former employees on Medicare, you will also want to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan. If you opt for traditional Medicare, you can purchase a Medicare supplemental policy, also known as Medigap, which helps pay your Medicare cost-sharing requirements. You can also choose to get your Medicare-covered Part A, Part B and, typically, Part D benefits through a private Medicare Advantage plan. In that case, you won’t need to enroll in a Medigap policy or a separate stand-alone Part D plan.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/kff

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.