What will be the penalty for delaying Medicare enrollment for my husband while he's on my insurance?

1 answer | Last updated: Apr 29, 2010
Miss liz asked...

I am working full time and have a great health care benefits package from my union that include my husband. They do not require him to be on Medicare (IF 65, which he is) until I retire. Will he have penalties for opting out of Medicare until I retire (10 years)???

Expert Answers

Good news: There is NO penalty for him delaying enrollment in Medicare as long as he is covered under your insurance from your current job. As long as his coverage is based on your active employment, he doesn't need to enroll in Medicare. Once you retire or lose your coverage, though, he will have eight months to sign up for Medicare Part B without paying any penalty. Once you're no longer working, or he no longer has the employer-based coverage from your current work, the penalty provision kicks in even if you and he are both then covered by retiree group health insurance from the same employer. In other words, the no-penalty rule only applies to someone covered by employer-sponsored insurance based on current work, not on coverage based on retiree benefits. You can read more about this rule on the Medicare Web site page about enrollment[ssa.gov].