What parts of Medicare are mandatory?

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Is Medicare optional or mandatory?

At the most basic level, Medicare is not mandatory and so citizens do not have to sign up to receive the benefits associated with Medicare. Having said that, there are specific instances and situations under which Medicare does become a mandatory policy even if you decide to delay your sign up beyond the eligible age of 65. 

In this article, we will outline which parts of Medicare are mandatory policies, and which parts are optional depending on your own needs.

Understanding the different parts of Medicare insurance

Medicare Part A is the most affordable subsection of the Medicare complete policy, primarily because if you have paid all of your taxes and choose to enroll as soon as you become eligible, you can likely enjoy Part A coverage premium-free. For those who receive Social Security benefits, enrolling in Part A is mandatory. However, if you are actively contributing to a Health Savings account or if you receive decent coverage through your employer healthcare insurance and are not yet ready to retire, you may find that delaying your enrollment into Medicare insurance is beneficial for the time being.  

Medicare Part B is not mandatory – however, if you do not sign up for it during your enrollment eligibility period and decide at a later date that you do want Part B coverage, you will be subject to penalties. Most beneficiaries sign up for Parts A and B together – those who leave Part B off their initial cover will be subject to future penalties should they add it at a later date. It’s as simple as that. 

Part B does involve the payment of a monthly premium which is one reason why so many overlook it when they first enroll, however offsetting the monthly premium against a potential penalty may cause you to think twice. 

Medicare Part C is also not mandatory. However, to obtain Part C, you must be enrolled in both Parts A and B. For those looking for Original Medicare coverage with added benefits, then a Part C plan is something to consider.

Medicare Part D is the other package deal that is not mandatory but does come with late enrollment penalties should you decide at a later date to enroll. In terms of expert advice, Part D is the subsection of Medicare insurance which covers drugs and prescriptions and so can be hugely beneficial in terms of supporting the finances associated with medications. 

All of the above applies to general citizens in the United States who become eligible for Medicare when they hit 65 years of age, or through other avenues such as disability. However, there are a few instances where the rules around Medicare as a mandatory policy change.

When Medicare becomes a mandatory policy

There are a handful of instances where the rules around Medicare change, for example, if you work for the government. Anyone hired by state or local government officials after 1986 must sign up for Medicare as part of a mandatory insurance policy. 

Those receiving Social Security disability benefits will become eligible for Medicare after 24 months on the benefits. Enrollment is not mandatory straight away but you will receive a penalty on all levels of Medicare coverage should you delay your enrollment. 

For more support on when and why you should sign up for Medicare insurance, get in touch with the team at Bobby Brock Insurance.

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance