Working Past 65

Medicare Initial Enrollment Period Computer Image

A lot of people reach the age of Medicare eligibility and continue to work. Many have health insurance through their employers. What about Medicare?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You still have a Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when you turn 65.  You may want to enroll in Part A during this time. It’s premium free, as long as you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
  • You have to be proactive and enroll in Medicare yourself. Medicare doesn’t notify you about your IEP unless you currently get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
  • You may qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows you to delay enrolling in Part B and Part D without incurring late enrollment penalties. You need to get confirmation of creditable coverage from your employer.

Retirement and Medicare Basics

Retiring soon? Know the Medicare basics. Your Medicare health coverage choices can vary based on your age and whether you have retiree coverage through your employer or plan sponsor. Find out what you need to know and the questions to ask to help you retire with peace of mind.

Spouses may get SEPs, too

If you’re covered by your working spouse’s employer health insurance plan, and you are 65 or older, you may qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period when your spouse’s employer insurance ends. Same-sex spouses included!

Get Your Medicare Special Enrollment Period Dates

Your SEP, if you qualify for one, begins when you retire or your employer insurance ends—whichever comes first. Find your SEP dates using this simple tool or select the tab that matches your situation.

Enter your date of birth
Note: This information is used only to help calculate your enrollment dates.

Please enter a valid date.


Initial Enrollment Period: Turning 65 on

Enrollment Period

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Enter your retirement date or the date you're losing your employer coverage (whichever happens first).
Note: This information is used only to help calculate your enrollment dates.

Please enter a valid date.


Special Enrollment for Parts A and B: Retiring or losing coverage in .

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How to Use Your Medicare Special Enrollment Period

Talk with your employer health insurance plan administrator before you make any decisions. You need to understand if, and how, your plan may work with Medicare. You may be required to take full Medicare benefits (Parts A and B) at age 65 in some situations, such as if your employer has fewer than 20 employees.

During your SEP, you may:

  1. Enroll in Part B, and Part A, if you haven’t already. You have 8 months to enroll. 
8 months to enroll
  1. Enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or a prescription drug (Part D) plan. You have 2 months to enroll.  Learn about choosing a plan.
2 months to enroll

You are not eligible for this SEP when COBRA or retiree coverage ends. However, you may be eligible for a different SEP. Talk with your plan administrator or call the Medicare helpline for more information.

You may have additional coverage choices

If you enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B, you may add prescription drug coverage and Medicare supplement insurance. Or, you may choose a Medicare Advantage plan.

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Getting Ready to Retire?

It’s time to think about Medicare coverage for your healthcare needs. Visit UHCMedicareSolutions.com to see Medicare plans in your area or call UnitedHealthcare from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. local time at 1-866-584-6886 TTY:711.