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How Medicare Works With Other Coverage

A nurse discusses Medicare coverage with her patients.

En español | Do you have coverage from another source in addition to Medicare? AARP’s Medicare Question and Answer Tool is a starting point to guide you through how Medicare works with other health coverage.




How Employer Sponsored Coverage Fits With Medicare Q & A Home


Q. Do I have to enroll in Medicare if I continue to have health coverage after age 65 from my own or my spouse’s employer?

A: No — if the employer has 20 or more employees. Probably — if the employer has fewer than 20 workers. — Read Full Answer


Q. I receive health insurance from my domestic partner’s employer. Can I delay Part B enrollment after I become eligible for Medicare, without risking late penalties?

A: No, if you’re not formally married you can’t delay Part B enrollment without penalty, except in some limited circumstances. — Read Full Answer


Q. I’m retired and receive comprehensive health insurance from a former employer. Do I need to sign up for Medicare Part B when I turn 65?

A: Part B enrollment is not compulsory. You don’t need to sign up if you don’t want to. But if you change your mind at a later date, Medicare will always cost you far more than if you sign up at 65. — Read Full Answer


Q. I’m about to retire. My employer has offered me 18 months of COBRA coverage. Can I delay signing up for Medicare until the COBRA runs out?

A: No, you can’t delay Medicare enrollment until COBRA expires — not without facing a gap in coverage and late penalties. — Read Full Answer


Q. I will continue to work after turning 65. My employer’s health insurance is a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account. How would this fit in with Medicare?

A: Under IRS rules, you cannot contribute to a health savings account (HSA) at work in any month that you are enrolled in any part of Medicare. But there are steps you can take to keep your HSA without being penalized. — Read Full Answer


Q: What if I have prescription drug coverage from a current or former employer? Can I keep it or will Medicare make me drop it and enroll in a Part D drug plan?

A: You always have the option to keep other drug coverage you may have instead of taking Part D. But to avoid late penalties you need to find out whether the employer coverage is “creditable.” — Read Full Answer


Federal Government Workers Q & A Home


Q: I am a federal employee and will continue to work for the government after I turn 65, with health care coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). Do I have to do anything about Medicare?

A: No, not yet. Like other people who work for large employers after age 65, you can delay signing up for Medicare until you retire. If you’re married and your FEHB plan covers your spouse, he or she can also delay Medicare enrollment until your employment ends. — Read Full Answer


Q: I will be retiring soon from my job in the federal government. I will continue to receive good health coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). So do I need Medicare Part B?

A: The FEHB program does not require you to sign up for Medicare Part B, but you may want to consider some factors before making the decision. — Read Full Answer






Q: I will continue on active duty with the military after I turn 65. I have health insurance under the TRICARE program. Do I need to sign up for Medicare Part B?

A: No, you need not sign up for Part B while you’re still on active duty in one of the U.S. military services. — Read Full Answer


Q: If I have TRICARE, do I need to have Part D?

A: Generally, if you have TRICARE, you don’t need to enroll in Medicare Part D. — Read Full Answer


Q: I am retiring from the military and I will become eligible for health coverage under the TRICARE For Life program. How does this fit in with Medicare? And how does it affect my spouse?

A: Medicare becomes your primary health insurance and TRICARE For Life becomes supplemental coverage that wraps around Medicare benefits. So you must sign up with Medicare in order to maintain eligibility for TFL. — Read Full Answer




Veterans Q & A Home


Q. I am a veteran with health care coverage from the VA system. How does this work with Medicare? Do I need Medicare as well?

A: The VA does not require you to enroll in Medicare but suggests that there are strong reasons you should. — Read Full Answer


Q. I get my prescriptions filled through the VA. Do I need Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage as well?

A: You are not required to take Part D coverage.  But having drug coverage from both the VA and Part D gives you more choice and convenience. — Read Full Answer




Coordination of Benefits Between Medicare And Other Health Insurance Q & A Home



How Coverage From The Indian Health Service Works With Medicare Q & A Home

Q. If I receive health care from the Indian Health Service, do I need to enroll in Medicare?

A: Yes, you are required to sign up for Medicare Parts A and B, though not necessarily for Part D.— Read Full Answer




Medicaid Q & A Home

Q. I have been receiving health care through Medicaid. Will I lose this coverage when I become eligible for Medicare?

A: Eligibility for Medicaid depends entirely on your income, according to the rules of your state. If you still qualify for Medicaid when you become eligible for Medicare, you’ll have both at the same time.— Read Full Answer