Ask Larry

Can I Voluntarily Give Up My Employer Health Coverage And Sign Up For Parts B & D Of Medicare With No Penalty?

I am over 70 and still employed. Both my wife and I have health benefits from my employer. She turns 65 in Dec of this year at which time she will start on Medicare, PartB and PartD. My question is can I voluntarily give up my employer health benefit In Dec and qualify for a special enrollment period so I can sign up for PartB and PartD (already on Medicare) without a penalty. I do not not want to retire in Dec, I just want to switch fully to Medicare from my qualified employer health plan.


Hi. As long as you've been an active employee since reaching age 65 and you've been covered by a qualified employer group health plan (EGHP) with at least 20 employees, then you're eligible to sign up for Parts B & D of Medicare without any penalty regardless of whether or not you give up your EGHP coverage. Whether or not you can voluntarily drop your EGHP coverage depends on the terms of your EGHP policy.

If you do drop your EGHP coverage, though, you would have 8 months in which to enroll in Parts B & D of Medicare without being charged a late filing penalty. However, you would need to apply no later than the first month that you no longer have EGHP coverage in order to avoid a gap in coverage. Refer to the following Social Security website for more information:

Best, Jerry

Mar 28 2023 - 10:49am
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