A: It’s a piece of cake! First, let’s make sure we are all on the same page about who can delay Part B without being charged a late enrollment penalty.
In order to delay Part B enrollment without being charges a late enrollment penalty, all of the following conditions must be true:
- You or your spouse are currently employed (COBRA and retiree coverage do not count)
- You are covered by an employer group health plan based on that current employment
- The employer is a large employer. If your Medicare eligibility is based on turning 65 (as opposed to qualifying by disability), there must be 20 or more employees to be considered a large employer.
If you meet all three of these condition, you are entitled to use a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up late for Part B and you will be protected from the late enrollment penalty. Your SEP ends eight months after your insurance based on current employment ends. Verify your eligibility for this SEP with your HR department if you are not 100% sure you qualify.
Once you are ready to sign up, you’ll need two forms: CMS-40B and CMS- L64. You may get the forms from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or download them from the Internet.
Fill out Form CMS-40B “Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B” only if you signed up for Part A at age 65. (Do not use this form if you need to sign up for Part A and Part B. You will need to contact SSA to sign up).
Give the CMS-L64 form to your employer so they can verify you’ve had an employer group health plan based on current employment. Once your employer completes this form, take both forms to SSA. At that point SSA will begin processing your request for Part B.
Not so difficult after all, is it?