As you are talking with seniors just aging into the Medicare market, it is important to advise them about the penalties they will pay if they do not sign up for Medicare Part B at the right time. For those seniors who have already filed for Social Security, they will automatically be enrolled in Medicare at age sixty-five. However, seniors who continue in the workforce, either by choice or necessity, and delay their Medicare coverage need to notify Medicare of their decision. Otherwise they will face a 10% Part B penalty for each year that they do not file. So someone filing for the first time at age seventy will face a 50% Part B penalty. The penalty is permanent and can translate into thousands of dollars in unnecessary penalty charges.
For your clients who decide to continue working, advise them to notify Medicare of their decision as soon as they turn sixty-five to ensure they will avoid penalties later. Especially, those seniors who work at a company with over twenty employees, as their employer will continue to provide their benefits. They can do this by choosing the option on the back of the Medicare card that is sent, calling the Social Security Administration, or visiting the SSA website. For their Part D prescription coverage, seniors can delay filing as long as their employer provides equal or better coverage.
Those seniors earning more should also be informed about the surcharges on high-income seniors. Currently, this affects only 5% of seniors, however those still in the workforce are more likely than those retired to fall into the income bracket. The extra charges can be applied not only to Part B, but also Medicare Advantage and Part D coverage.
Advising your prospects of these penalties is great for client retention and relationship growth. While they continue to receive their healthcare from their employer, you can work with them on their final expense, long-term care, and annuity needs until they require a Medicare Supplement.
Please give us your feedback!
Do you have clients who didn't know about these penalties and have suffered inflated costs due to delaying? How do you go about avising your clients who want to delay their Medicare benefits?