Jeremy worked two full-time jobs for many years but chose to retire from his main job when he turned 65. He plans to continue at his second full-time job, where he is eligible for group health insurance, until he’s about 68. Because of this, Jeremy could have delayed his Part B start date but he didn’t know that and signed up for Part B to start the month he turned 65. (Some employers require employees to start Part B when they turn 65, but Jeremy’s employer doesn’t.)

He was signed up to start paying for group health insurance through his employer and to also start paying for Part B. Since his group health plan doesn’t require him to have Part B, this would be an unnecessary expense so he decided to delay his Part B enrollment until he lost group coverage. However, Medicare had planned to charge him a three-month penalty (about $445), so we decided to more closely compare his group coverage to Medicare to figure out which was best.

We did a three-way call with his human resources director to ask about costs through the group health insurance. The premium, copays, deductible, and maximum out-of-pocket costs of the group plan were higher than the Medicare plan, so Jeremy decided to drop the group coverage and just have Medicare.

We signed him up for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage plus dental, vision, and hearing coverage, for a $0 monthly premium. He occasionally sees a specialist and will pay a modest copay when he does.