The short answer is “not necessarily.” Of course, the general perception is that if you don’t have Medicare at age 65, you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty. That is true for some people who are currently without health insurance or have health coverage through an employer with less than 100 employees. However, many people are still covered by employer health coverage at age 65 and older. If you or your spouse are actively working and are covered by a work plan, you may delay getting Medicare Part A and/ or Part B until you want it, or the employment coverage ends.
Around the time you turn 65, you are eligible for an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) where you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B. After IEP is over, you have a chance to sign up later using a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Usually, you don’t have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up for Medicare during an SEP.
There are multiple reasons why you may want to delay getting Medicare at age 65, and there are a few reasons you may want to even if employer coverage is available to you. Every individual’s situation is slightly different. I would be happy to consult with you with no obligation. You may also contact Medicare at www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.