Medicare & Job Loss FAQs

Medicare & Job Loss: Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find our most frequently asked questions about Medicare & Job Loss. If you would like a personalized consultation, click here.

What if I lost my employer health insurance coverage or I am about to?

  • If you’ve already lost coverage:
    • Find out what you have. We have found that some clients are not aware they already have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). If you do not have your red, white, and blue Medicare card, you can contact Medicare to find out if you have it.
    • Apply for insurance as soon as possible. You may be eligible for COBRA or your state’s Healthcare Marketplace. The state’s Healthcare Marketplace or COBRA could hold you over until you can get enrolled into Medicare.
      • If you are a California resident, you may be subject to tax penalties if you are not covered.
    • If you qualify for Medicare and you don’t enroll, you may be subject to penalties.
      • Part B: If you lose employer (20+ employees) coverage, and you are retiring (or you will remain unemployed for now), you will need to enroll into Part B within 8 months. If you miss this 8-month period, you only be able to enroll during the General Enrollment period (January-March) and your coverage won’t take effect until July of the year you enrolled. While waiting to get coverage, you will have to figure out a way to be covered in the meantime. You will also incur a 10% penalty for each 12-month period that you did not enroll. This will be deducted from your social security pension and it will take place for as long as you’re on Medicare.
      • Part D: If you no longer have prescription drugs covered through your employer, you will have a 63-day grace period before you will incur a penalty. If you go longer than 63-days without prescription drug coverage, you will be subject to a 1% (of the standard premium of Part D plans) penalty for each month that you did not enroll into a Part D plan. This penalty is also for as long as you’re on Medicare.
  • If you know you’ll lose coverage within the next 60 days:
    • You can apply before you lose your coverage to try to ensure there’s no gap in coverage.
      • For example, if you know you’ll lose coverage in 2 months on March 30th, and apply for Medicare as soon as possible.
    • When applying for Medicare, they may ask for proof of employment coverage (Form CMS-L564) ,which would justify delaying Part B, and a completed Part B enrollment form (Form CMS40B). Submitting paperwork back and forth can take time, so allow time for this.
    • Enrollment into Medicare Part B can take 4-6 weeks, but at the time of writing this page, it has taken our clients 2-3 weeks to be enrolled into Medicare Part B. We help guide our clients on what to do and what to say when they are going from employer to Medicare coverage.
    • After enrolling into Original Medicare, it is important to gain the proper coverage and enroll into either a Medicare Advantage plan (MA, MAPD, PDP) or a Medicare Supplement plan (Medi-gap). We offer no-cost consultations to make it easy for you to figure out what type of plan would work for your lifestyle.

If I lose my job, will I qualify for a special enrollment period with Medicare?

Yes, if you lose your job, you qualify for a special enrollment period with Medicare. You will have 8 months to sign up for Part B without incurring a penalty. For Part D, you will have a 63-day grace period.

If you have more questions, we are here to help. We help people who are experiencing job loss in California, Oregon, and Washington, and guide our clients on the proper steps from losing employer coverage to getting covered with Medicare.

Call our office today for a no-cost consultation


Covered California
My Medicare Plan Advisor

My Medicare Plan Advisor is an insurance broker company that specializes in providing people who are 64.5+, people nearing retirement, seniors, and people with disabilities personalized Medicare plans and no-cost Medicare Plan consultations to Medicare recipients in California, Oregon and Washington. We have many years of experience in providing advice in Medicare Advantage/ Part C plans, Supplement/Medi-gap, Prescription Drug plans/Part D, and Dental plans. There is no need to settle for mediocre health care as we are here to help find the right plan for you.

I would be bereft if I didn’t send an official ‘Thank You’ for both of you coming to my home this morning to visit with me and to clarify what, to me, is an extremely confusing process. Not only did you both make it VERY non-confusing, but you made me feel better by just being here to help. I hope that you get more appreciation than I dare to believe you probably don’t; but, officially, from me:  you get a BIG THANK YOU! Thank you for your kindness, knowledge and just all around helpfu… Read more
Chris F.