For Consumers

Do I have to sign up for Medicare if I'm 65 or older, and still working (or my spouse is)?

If you're age 65 or older, eligible for Medicare, and have insurance through your current job or your spouse’s current job, you need to make some important Medicare enrollment decisions.

If you don't enroll on time, you may have to pay a penalty. Before you make any changes, it's good to understand how your current coverage works with Medicare (www.medicare.gov) about four to five months before you (or your spouse) become eligible for Medicare.

Ask your benefits manager or human resource department how your employer health insurance works with Medicare, and confirm this information with the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov) and Medicare (www.medicare.gov).

When you retire or if you lose your employer coverage, you will get a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare. Be sure to review the rules carefully, so you don't miss deadlines.