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Surprise! A Confusing Letter From Medicare

by Charles Bradshaw

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles Bradshaw

I received several calls and emails this week from people who are working past age 65 and still have health insurance from their employer. Because they have coverage from their employer, they have delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B.

They contacted me because they had received a misleading letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advising them that if they want to enroll in Medicare Part B this year they need to apply at their local Social Security office prior to March 31, 2018 and their Medicare Part B coverage will take effect on July 1, 2018.

The letter did not make clear that this only applies to people who are 65 years old or over, who are not enrolled in Medicare Part B and, very importantly, DO NOT have credible health insurance through an employer.

As long as you have credible health insurance coverage through an employer – whether it is your employer or your spouse or legal partner – you can delay going on full Medicare until the time you leave the employer coverage without incurring any penalty now or in the future. You can also begin your Medicare Part B coverage to coincide with when you leave your employer coverage.

At the time you are about to leave your employer coverage, you will need to have the employer complete and sign Employer Form CMS-L564E. You can download this form by clickinghere.

You will then take this completed form to your local Social Security office and you will have a Special Election Period to enroll in Medicare Part B to start when you employer coverage ends.

You will be able to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area at that time without answering health questions. You will also be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan at that time with no Late Enrollment Penalty.

Employer coverage or full Medicare? How to decide

I would appreciate the chance to help you with your Medicare transition when the time is right so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

I am also happy to help you evaluate whether your best option is to stay on employer coverage or go on full Medicare.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

You can also call me at 888-549-1110 or email me at

I look forward to talking with you soon.

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