Ask Terry Questions SS/ Medicare

SS/ Medicare

By Terry Savage on May 10, 2024 | Insurance & Annuities

Hi Terry,
I love you segments on John’s show…always so informative. My question..My wife turned 65 on April1st of this year and is still working full-time with health insurance benefits. She will retire on June 7th of this year. We worked with a local insurance company to get her on track for Medicare and to start SS once she is done in June. She received a bill from Medicare the other day for three months of coverage apparently for the term between her 65th birthday and her retirement date. I don’t understand why she is being billed for a service she has not used. As she pointed out she could have used it but since she has benefits through work she didn’t. Did we screw up by not having her drop her health benefits at work? Is there a work around on the charge? Thanks !

Terry Says

You should immediately contact SS and make sure that someone didn’t mistakenly enroll her in SS EARLY — which would trigger a bill for Medicare Part B.  And since she is still working, it would trigger an earnings penalty because she applied before her Full Retirement Age.    You need to get this sorted out with SS right away!

  • first, ask if she is ALREADY enrolled in SS.  Assuming she hasn’t received any benefits dropped into her account, there is no reason for her to be billed for Medicare.
  • If she is already enrolled,  she needs to disenroll — and pay back any benefits received.  She must do that within 6 months of starting SS.
  • If she is NOT enrolled, they shouldn’t have started billing her for Medicare!

My suggestion is that she wait to sign up for SS until her full retirement age — and pay for COBRA extension of benefits at work.  In the long run, that will give her a larger SS check.  It sounds like it would only be for a few months.  Then she could start over fresh at FRA — signing up for SS, Medicare Part B  AND a supplement and Part D.



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