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About Medicare
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May 3, 2024

Can I Drop Medicare If I Go Back to Work?

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One common question among Medicare beneficiaries is “Can I drop Medicare if I choose to start working again?”, and the answer is yes; but there are a few things you should consider before making this change. This article explores why someone might consider leaving Medicare, the process involved, and the potential consequences of this decision.

Why Would Someone Drop Medicare After Returning to Work?

If you go back to work and receive health insurance through your employer, you might think about dropping Medicare to avoid paying for duplicate coverage.

This is particularly relevant if:

  • Your employer offers a comprehensive health plan that is more cost-effective or provides better benefits than Medicare.
  • The employer’s health plan covers areas that Medicare might not, such as dental and vision care, which could be more aligned with your current healthcare needs.

How to Drop Medicare

To disenroll from Medicare, you must contact Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board) directly. However, it’s important to coordinate the timing of dropping out of Medicare with the commencement of your employer’s health plan to avoid any gaps in coverage.

Possible Repercussions of Dropping Medicare to Return to Work:

  • Gaps in Coverage: If not timed correctly, you might experience a period without any health insurance coverage, which could be financially risky if you incur health expenses during this gap.
  • Late Enrollment Penalties: If you drop Medicare and then later decide to re-enroll, you might face late enrollment penalties for Part B and Part D. These penalties are typically added to your monthly premiums for all future years.

If Not Going Back to Work or Replacing Coverage:

  • No Coverage: Dropping Medicare without having another health insurance plan means you will be without health coverage, which is a significant risk, especially as healthcare needs generally increase with age.
  • Difficulty Re-enrolling: Outside of specific enrollment periods, re-enrolling in Medicare can be a challenge. You may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31 each year), which can leave you unprotected for a significant period.

Specific Examples and Considerations

Here are some real-life examples of people who chose to drop Medicare after starting:

Scenario 1: Returning to Work with Employer Coverage

John, 68, returns to work and his new employer offers a group health plan that kicks in immediately. He decides to drop Medicare Part B and D as the new plan offers comprehensive coverage including dental and vision, which are not covered by Medicare.

Scenario 2: Dropping Medicare Without Adequate Coverage

Mary, 70, decides to drop her Medicare coverage due to its costs, without returning to work or having another form of health insurance. This results in Mary having no medical coverage, facing high out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services, and potentially incurring late enrollment penalties if she chooses to re-enroll later.

All in All

While returning to work might prompt reconsideration of your Medicare coverage, the decision to drop Medicare should not be taken lightly. Evaluate the benefits and risks, considering potential gaps in coverage, costs, and future healthcare needs. Always consult with a Medicare specialist or your HR department to make an informed decision that aligns with your health and financial circumstances.

 

Did you know that AMAC’s team of Medicare advisors can help you navigate these changes? Whether you are in the beginning, middle, or end of your Medicare journey, we are here to help! Don’t face these situations alone, let AMAC do the work for you.

 

Call 888-643-8585 or click below to request a call!

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