Should you enroll in Medicare if you’re still working? (part 1)

Many people today keep working beyond age 65 – the age when most people become eligible for Medicare. If you’re still working and your employer offers health coverage, do you need to enroll in Medicare? Should you do so?

The answers can be complicated – and there may be different answers for the different "parts" of Medicare.

Here’s a closer look: Medicare Part A. Part A of Medicare covers hospital visits and nursing home stays, as well as certain types of care provided by home health agencies. It’s usually smart to go ahead and enroll in Part A even if you’re still working, since it’s free for most people and it may supplement your employer’s insurance.

However, you need to be careful, because sometimes enrolling in Part A can affect your employer-provided insurance. You’ll want to ask your employer (or your spouse’s employer, if that’s where you get your coverage) whether your current insurance will change if you enroll in Part A.

This is especially true if you have a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account, since enrolling in Medicare can make it difficult or impossible to make further contributions to such an account.