UNITED STATES—Hi Toni! I will turn 65 on February 14 of this year and want to retire in 3-6 months. I have several questions after studying your Medicare Survival Guide Advanced edition & Medicare.gov. Just trying to avoid any mistakes!

If I enroll in Medicare A & B now, but continue to work when do I start paying for it? Thank you so much for your expertise!  Gail from The Woodlands area.

Gail: You are right to double check what your company HR is advising you because sometimes HR does not know specific Medicare enrollment rules.

Medicare has what is called the enrollment effective date schedule, which is not mentioned in the Medicare & You Handbook, but is an important window of time for those turning 65.  Especially those that wish to enroll after the month they turn 65.

The handbook does discuss the “Initial Enrollment Period,” it states, “If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B the month you turn 65 or during the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, the start date for your Medicare coverage will be delayed.”

The “effective date schedule” is the 7-month period which occurs 3 months before turning 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after turning 65 when your Medicare begins at different times.

Below is a simple explanation of the Medicare effective date schedule:

-Enrolling anytime 3 months before turning 65, your Medicare begins the first day of the month you turn 65.

-Enroll the month you turn 65, then Medicare will begin 1 month after you sign up.

**Gail if you enroll in February and your Medicare begins March1st.

-Enroll 1 month after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 2 months after you sign up.

**Gail if you enroll in March; your Medicare begins June 1st.

-Enroll 2 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 months after you sign up.

**Gail if you enroll in April; your Medicare begins August 1st.

-Enroll 3 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 months after you sign up. Gail if you enroll in May; his Medicare will begin September.

Gail, when there is a Toni Says® Medicare consultation with someone who wishes to apply for Medicare as you are discussing we help that person with a personalized Medicare plan to meet their specific needs.

Let’s say you wait until June to retire which is past your Medicare effective date schedule time schedule, we would advise you to apply at your local Social Security office for a Medicare SEP (Special Enrollment Period) with form #CMS L-564 which is signed by your company HR. Your Medicare would begin July1 not August 1 or September 1, as if you had applied during your Medicare effective date schedule. Is that Medicare rule confusing or what?

Yes Gail, if you enroll in Medicare Part A and B whether working full-time or not your premiums begin the month that your Medicare Part A and B begin.

If you are still confused and would like to discuss your specific Medicare circumstances either email info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664 and the Toni Says® team can help you.

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide® is giving a $5 discount on the  Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book and bundle packages for the Toni Says® newspaper article readers at www.tonisays.com.