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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8143
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I have a Medicare question. If it would be better answered

Resolved Question:

I have a Medicare question. If it would be better answered by the legal or some other speciality team, please forward.

I tuned down Medicare part B in Oct '12 when I turned 65 because I intend to work for another year or so and have BC/BS medical insurance through my employer. At that time I also had the Army's Tricare prescription coverage that covered most of what Blue Cross did not for prescriptions. This past week I found out that Tricare prescriptions coverage stops if one turns down Medicare at age 65. I think I would like to go ahead and sign up for Medicare since I would also be able to enter the Army's Tricare for Life program that generally covers anything Blue Cross does & Medicare does not, such as deductibles; I have been putting off a foot operation and another procedure. I know that Medicare has on open season that ends in a few days. If I sign up now will I have to pay a higher monthly premium since I turned Medicare down initially. Also, what if I just wait until I retire to sign up for Medicare? Will I have to pay more monthly Medicare premium for waiting until then?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
I am online and happy to help you with your question today. Thank you for your patience.

Why do you want to wait to sign up for medicare?

Have you lost your tricare Rx coverage at this point?

Do you have any medical problems or take any medication?


This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I work for the Fed Gov. If you keep your Gov Medical Insurance until you retire, you can suspend it when you retire without permanently cancelling it & have it re-instated, later if desired; but you can only cancel, not suspend, it before you retire & you can not get that coverage again. Just in case I was unhappy with Medicare & Tricare for Life, I had wanted to keep the Gov insurance (Blue Cross) open as an option and was going to wait until retirement to sign on for Medicare & Tricare for Life. I had Tricare Rx coverage since I was 60 and did not know that I had to sign up for Medicare at 65 to maintain that benefit. So if I sign up for Medicare now, I can get the Tricare Rx as well as the Tricare for Life for free (although that may change). The one downside to Medicare is just paying the Medicare premium, but I did not know if I would have to pay a penalty because I did not sign up for it when I first became eligible or for how long. I do not take medication for any chronic conditions; I do have some problems with some chronic pain related to flat feet that I can live with but really need an operation or two that I have delayed.

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Carey,

Thank you for that extra information.

To answer your question, I do not believe that you will be charged any penalty just because you didn't sign up for medicare earlier. I also do not think that waiting will mean you have to pay a higher premium later.

Of course, every situation is different and, as you know from working for the Federal Government, rules are changed (seemingly) at a whim. :(

What is the botXXXXX XXXXXne? From what you have posted I do not think you have anything to worry about at this point.

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8143
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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