If you are currently enrolled in Marketplace plan, you should most likely drop the Marketplace plan and enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible. There are a few reasons why:
- If you do not enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible, you may have a late enrollment penalty when you sign up later. You may also experience gaps in health insurance coverage.
- Marketplace plans do not work with Medicare. If you keep your Marketplace plan, it may not cover you once you are eligible for Medicare
- Once you are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you will no longer be eligible to receive cost assistance for your Marketplace plan. Although you may keep your Marketplace plan after becoming eligible for Medicare, it can be very expensive without cost assistance.
If you are enrolled in a plan through the federal Marketplace, contact the Marketplace at 800-318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov to disenroll at least 14 days before you want your coverage to end. For Californians, contact Covered California at www.coveredca.com to learn how and when to disenroll from the plan. Keep in mind that you want your Marketplace plan to cover you up until your Medicare starts. You do not want any gaps in coverage, so timing is important.
Marketplaces also provide coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). This program lets small businesses provide health insurance. If you have a SHOP plan through a current employer, you may still need to enroll in Medicare. The timing depends on the size of your employer and how you qualify for Medicare. If you have a SHOP plan, talk with your employer or contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.