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Understanding Medicare after age 65


Do you plan to keep working after turning age 65? There are some deadlines to know about. Attend a webcast to learn more.

Attend a webcast


Not ready to retire?

As you near your 65th birthday, you get a lot of information about Medicare.

Which path will you take on your health care journey? Whether you're ready to retire the day you turn 65 or plan to keep working, it’s important to ask:

  • What are my coverage options once I turn 65? Should I add Medicare coverage?
  • Is my current drug coverage as good as Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage?
  • Could switching to Medicare save me money, even while I’m working? 
  • How will Medicare affect my family’s coverage?

We can put you in touch with an independent licensed insurance agent who specializes in Medicare. The agent can answer your questions and help you enroll in the plan that’s best for you. Call 1-206-774-5864, TTY 711, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 



Learn more about your options


What should you think about when comparing your employer coverage options to a Medicare plan? How does retirement coverage affect your Medicare choices? Learn more and find out how a licensed insurance agent can help.

Video Component

- [Narrator] As you approach your 65th birthday, there's no doubt you've started to receive information in the mail about Medicare, a lot of information. Which path will you take on your healthcare journey? Whether you're ready to retire the day you turn 65 or plan to keep working, there are a few things to consider. First, it's important to determine what type of coverage you will have access to when you retire. Take some time to meet with your employer's benefits team. Your retiree coverage could be enough or you may want to add Medicare as a secondary option. In some cases, Medicare may even take over as your primary insurer when you turn 65 with your retiree coverage backing it up. If you don't enroll during your initial enrollment period, you can face penalties. Even more serious, if you don't plan carefully, you could end up with a gap in your coverage. Questions to ask, what are my coverage options once I turn 65? Should I consider adding Medicare? How will my family's coverage be impacted? Still hard at work? If you're planning to work past 65, there are two common scenarios you may find yourself in. Scenario one, if your employer is small 20 employees or less, they may require that you get Medicare when you turn 65. Drug coverage is another consideration. Does your employer's program qualify as credible coverage? If not, you may face a penalty. Questions to ask, check with your employer's benefits team to ensure your drug coverage is considered credible and to ask for a notice of credible coverage. Find out how your Medicare choices might affect your family's coverage options. A lot of Medicare problems occur because people don't talk to their employer's benefits team in advance. Even if you plan to continue working, it's best to meet with them before you turn 65. Scenario two, if you work for a larger employer you should sit down and compare your employer plan to Medicare as you approach age 65. You should do this even if you're still working. Many people think, "I've got great employer coverage. As long as I'm working, I don't need Medicare." Maybe, but you might be surprised. More and more people have high deductible health plans. So it's worth checking what Medicare would cost you and what the benefits would be to add Medicare as secondary coverage or switch to it completely even while you're still working. Questions to ask, check to see what the impact of switching to Medicare might be. Will it save you money? Will your family still be able to continue to use your employer's coverage? Will you lose access to that coverage option once you switch? Regardless of which path to retirement you choose, you don't have to navigate it alone. A licensed insurance agent can help compare your employer coverage and your Medicare options to see which will work best and possibly save you money. They can also answer questions like, "What will Medicare cost me? How does Medicare work with my HSA? What about COBRA?" We would be happy to connect you to a trusted local insurance agent for a no cost personalized consultation. Just give us a call.


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Disclaimer: Optum Care Washington and The Polyclinic d/b/a Optum Care Washington (the “Practices”) are both physician owned and led practices having complete authority for all medical decision-making and patient care through their physicians and other licensed professionals. Optum, through its management organizations (“Optum”) provides non-clinical administrative services to support the Practices and their physicians. Neither Optum nor its management companies employs, engages, or supervises physicians or other licensed professionals, or determines or sets the methods, standards, or conduct of the practice of medicine or exercise of medical judgment or health care provided by the Practices or by any of their licensed professionals. “Part of Optum” reflects that the practices are part of Optum’s effort to support forward-thinking physician practices in helping their patients live healthier lives.