Knowing when to sign up for Medicare Part A and B can be confusing, but let me help clarify some of the basic things you need to know. First and foremost, you never want to be late in signing up for Medicare as signing up late can and will often impose lifelong penalties which will end up costing you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. So, to help you avoid penalties make sure you are familiar with the following: you’re Medicare eligibility and the various enrollment periods
1. Medicare Part A – even if you are still working and covered by your Lockheed Martin group plan, each person should enroll in Medicare Part A during their initial enrollment period (IEP). The IEP runs the 3 months prior to the month in which you turn 65 and the 3 months after, giving you a total of 7 months of IEP.
2. Medicare Part B – if you are still working and covered by your Lockheed Martin group plan, then signing up for this portion of coverage may be delayed until the month in which you retire; however, it is important to double check this with your plan provider to ensure there have been no rule changes. If you delay and were not aware of any rule changes, then you may be putting yourself in jeopardy of having a lifetime penalty.
3. Medicare Part B – if you are retiring and will still be covered by your Lockheed Martin group plan, then applying for Medicare Part B in the month in which you will be retiring is ideal. If you don’t apply in your last month of being an active employee, then you must apply for Medicare Part B within the 8 months that follow to avoid a penalty, whether or not you signed up for Cobra.
4. Medicare Part B – if you are a spouse covered by a Lockheed Martin group plan, then your rules are the same as # 2 and #3 above.
5. Medicare Part A and B – if you have already retired and are covered by your Lockheed Martin group plan, then you must sign up for both Part A and B when you are first eligible in order to avoid penalties. If you missed your IEP, then you can still sign up during the general enrollment period which is between January 1- March 31; however, penalties may apply.