Are you (and your spouse) currently enrolled in Medicare?
If you or your spouse have not yet enrolled in Medicare, or you aren't sure, contact Social Security to get more information.
If you are currently enrolled in Medicare Part A ONLY
Most people will enroll in Medicare Part A at age 65, even if they are still working. You have to apply for Medicare Part B. You can do this through your local Social Security office. The office will need two forms filled out, one filled out by your employer and the other by you.
If you had credible insurance since turning 65, you will not owe a late enrollment penalty and will have an 8 month window after losing employer coverage to enroll in Medicare Part B.
If you are currently enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B
You will need a letter from your employer insurance stating the dates you were insured by them them and that the coverage is ending. This letter will give you guaranteed issue (no health questions asked to enroll) on many Medicare Supplement plans and the ability to enroll in a prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan.
What about my spouse and/or dependents?
Medicare is an individual program meaning spouses and dependents can not be covered as a family. If your spouse is eligible for Medicare they will have to go through the same process as you. If your spouse is not eligible for Medicare you will have to consider other health insurance options through COBRA or the Affordable Care Act.
Does your employer offer retiree health benefits?
If your employer DOES offer retiree health benefits: Speak with your HR manager to determine whether your employer offers health insurance during retirement or not. If your company offers retiree health benefits and you qualify for them, speak with the company HR department about the plan details and cost. Depending on the structure of the benefits, and your healthcare needs, it's worth a thorough review.
If your employer DOES NOT offer retiree health benefits (and you are aged 65+): The first thing to determine is whether you are already enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. Your Medicare card will have an effective date for Part B if you are enrolled. Follow the steps below.