Can I sign up for Medicare Part B if I am working and have health insurance through an employer?

Choosing to sign up for Medicare is an important decision that involves a number of issues you may need to consider. The decision you make will depend on your situation and the type of health insurance you have. You may be able to delay signing up for Medicare Part B without a late enrollment penalty if you or your spouse (or a family member, if you’re disabled) is working, and you’re getting health insurance benefits based on current employment.

In most cases, if you don't sign up for Part B when you're first eligible, you'll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B.

Coverage based on current employment does not include:

  • COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act);
  • Retiree health coverage;
  • VA (Veterans Affairs) health coverage; or
  • Individual health coverage (like through the Health Insurance Marketplace).


More information

Find out how your coverage works with Medicare at Medicare.gov or contact your employer or union benefits administrator.

Retirement Toolkit (Department of Labor)

Read the official pamphlet, Handbook- Medicare & You for more general information.


Other Questions You May Find Helpful
What are Medicare late enrollment penalties?

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 34011-4131
  • Date Created: 01/13/2016
  • Last Modified Since: 08/24/2017
  • Viewed: 75164