Medicare While Still Working

You can get Medicare while you are still working. To be eligible for Medicare, you must be 65 but do not need to be retired. There are some benefits to getting Medicare while you’re still in the workforce, especially if you’re eligible for premium-free Part A. You can also avoid some of the penalties associated with not enrolling on time.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Lee Williams
    Lee Williams, senior editor for

    Lee Williams

    Senior Financial Editor

    Lee Williams is a professional writer, editor and content strategist with 10 years of professional experience working for global and nationally recognized brands. He has contributed to Forbes, The Huffington Post, SUCCESS Magazine,, Electric Literature and The Wall Street Journal. His career also includes ghostwriting for Fortune 500 CEOs and published authors.

    Read More
  • Published: October 5, 2021
  • Updated: November 1, 2022
  • 4 min read time
  • This page features 6 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Our fact-checking process starts with vetting all sources to ensure they are authoritative and relevant. Then we verify the facts with original reports published by those sources, or we confirm the facts with qualified experts. For full transparency, we clearly identify our sources in a list at the bottom of each page.

Cite Us
How to Cite's Article

APA Simmons, C. (2022, November 1). Medicare While Still Working. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Medicare While Still Working.", 1 Nov 2022,

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Medicare While Still Working." Last modified November 1, 2022.

Why Trust
Why You Can Trust Us

Content created by RetireGuide and sponsored by our partners.

Key Principles

RetireGuide’s mission is to provide seniors with resources that will help them reach important financial decisions that affect their retirement. Our goal is to arm our readers with knowledge that will lead to a healthy and financially sound retirement.

We’re dedicated to providing thoroughly researched Medicare information that guides you toward making the best possible health decisions for you and your family.

We partner with Senior Market Sales (SMS), a leader in the insurance industry with over 30 years of experience and a network of 66,000 independently licensed agents across the United States.

Our partnership with SMS (and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch) allows us to deliver expertly researched and reviewed content at no cost or obligation to all of our visitors. It also gives our visitors the opportunity to take the next step in their Medicare journey by requesting help from our partner through the phone numbers or forms provided on our website.

If a visitor chooses to inquire about a health care plan through SMS as a result of our research and accurate information, RetireGuide may receive compensation for connecting the visitor with SMS. The revenue we earn for helping visitors get the help they’re seeking makes RetireGuide stronger for our audiences.

The content and tools created by RetireGuide adhere to strict Medicare and editorial guidelines to ensure quality and transparency.

Editorial Independence

While the experts from SMS are available to help you navigate various Medicare plans, RetireGuide retains complete editorial control over the information it publishes.

We operate independently from SMS, which allows the award-winning RetireGuide team to provide you with unbiased information.

Visitors can trust our inflexibility regarding our editorial autonomy. We do not allow our partnership to influence RetireGuide’s editorial content whatsoever.

Do You Have To Sign Up for Medicare at 65 if You Are Still Working?

You do not have to sign up for Medicare if you are still working. You may already receive coverage that you prefer through your employer, or maybe you aren’t ready. But while you must be 65 to be eligible for Medicare, you are not required to get it.

Keep in mind that there are situations where you may want to sign up for Medicare. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, you should sign up if you work at a company with 20 or fewer employers to avoid a coverage gap. If your coverage through your job is not employer group health plan coverage, then you should sign up to avoid a Part B penalty later.

While your current work status doesn’t affect your Medicare eligibility, your work history does. You typically must have worked for 10 years and paid Medicare taxes to be eligible for premium-free Part A. This distinction can play a significant role in whether you should sign up for Medicare while working since Part A will be much more expensive.

The Benefits of Signing Up for Medicare While Working

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25% of Americans age 65 to 74 were still in the workforce in 2021. That means that millions of newly eligible people must make a tough decision on when to enroll in Medicare. Even if you have health coverage through an employer, there are benefits to signing up while still employed.

Part A

If you have worked for at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes, then it may make a lot of sense for you to get Part A while still employed since it will be premium-free. Part A covers inpatient care and hospital stays, which can be a massive expense.

If there is no premium associated with receiving coverage, there’s really no downside to getting Part A while you are still in the workforce.


Part B

The benefit of getting Part B while still working is that it offers a variety of coverage, such as outpatient care, treatments and services related to a wide range of conditions and equipment. It may be worth it to get this coverage as soon as you can if there is something in particular that you want to be covered.


Unique Scenarios

Medicare rules can be a little complex, and there are some unique scenarios with getting Medicare while still in the workforce. If you have COBRA coverage, then you should sign up for Medicare when you turn 65.

This is also the case if you are expecting to lose your employer health insurance at any point in the near future.

Also, remember that there are also certain enrollment windows for Medicare. If you are a veteran or former military member who receives coverage through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you should sign up as soon as you turn 65.

If you have a different or private health plan currently, check with your plan provider to determine what the best option is for you.

Don't Leave Your Health to Chance
You've worked hard your whole life by thinking ahead. Now do the same for your health. Get free Medicare help to plan your future.

The Drawbacks of Signing Up for Medicare and Working

If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, then you could be adding a significant expense to your monthly budget. Part B, while offering a lot of coverage, can also be pricey, especially if you have a higher level of income.

Important Enrollment Windows and Penalties To Consider

It’s important to remember that there are windows for when you can enroll in Medicare, and you can be penalized for missing these windows. This can affect you if you decline Medicare coverage when you are first eligible, since there are penalties for missing that first window.

If you aren’t getting premium-free Part A, your eventual premium can increase by 10 percent if you don’t buy Part A when it’s first available. For Part B, your premium can increase by 10 percent for every 12 months that you were eligible for Part B but didn’t enroll.

Last Modified: November 1, 2022

6 Cited Research Articles

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 28). Employment Projections. Retrieved from
  2. AARP. (n.d.). I am a veteran health care coverage from the VA system. Do I need Medicare as well? Retrieved from
  3. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Part A late enrollment penalty. Retrieved from
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Part B late enrollment penalty. Retrieved from
  5. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Who is eligible for Medicare? Retrieved from
  6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Working Past 65. Retrieved from