Why did I not yet get my Medicare Part B card after retirement?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I recently retired in June at age 67. I have not received my Medicare Part B card (I do have part A). I have health insurance until August 31, from my former employer. Is that why I didn't get a new card?

Expert Answers

Yes, the fact that you kept working and -- assuming from what you say -- hadn't yet begun collecting Social Security retirement benefits when you turned 65 is most likely the reason you didn't receive a Medicare Part B card when you retired. If you had been collecting Social Security benefits when you turned 65, you would have received your Medicare Part B card then, automatically. Now, whether you've claimed Social Security benefits or not, you have to enroll in Medicare Part B.

Because you had employer-sponsored health insurance based on your own employment when you turned 65, you now have 8 months (from the time you retired) to enroll in Medicare Part B without any penalty for late enrollment. This is known as a Medicare Part B Special Enrollment Period. If you sign up for Medicare Part B during these 8 months, your coverage will begin the first of the month following your enrollment. You can enroll by contacting your local Social Security office or calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Remember, Medicare Part B is not free for most people. There is a monthly premium ($96.40 in 2010). That amount will be automatically deducted from your Social Security retirement benefits if you're now receiving them.