Working Past Age 65 and Medicare

Please be aware that WSU is not affiliated with Medicare, nor in the position to offer advice or guidance regarding Medicare other than factual information regarding WSU insurance. We encourage you to refer to to learn more about Medicare.

The following Medicare webpage specifically addresses turning age 65 while working:

Enrollment in Medicare is not automatic when you reach age 65, so you may want to sign up for Part A. In most cases, there is no cost to enroll in Part A but there is a cost to enroll in Part B. You can delay enrollment in Part B while you are still working and you have university medical coverage. 

If you enroll in Medicare while still working, your university medical coverage will pay primary to your Medicare coverage. That means your medical expenses must be billed to the university medical coverage first and then to Medicare if there is a balance. It may not make sense to enroll in and pay for Part B when you have university medical coverage while still working.

This guidance also applies to dependents turning 65 who are covered on WSU medical plans.

When your employment ends:

  • You may want to consider enrolling in Medicare
  • You will be offered COBRA coverage, which continues your current university medical coverage (in most cases for 18 months) and at the full monthly premium rate, not just the employee contribution amount. Medicare coverage will pay primary and COBRA coverage will pay secondary. Learn more about COBRA.
  • You may also be offered retiree medical coverage through the university. You are eligible for retiree medical coverage when you meet the university criteria for retiring (age 55 and either have 10 years of service with the university or 5 years of university contributions in the retirement savings program). WSU retiree medical coverage will be secondary to Medicare, so you will have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B in order to be covered as a retiree. Learn more about WSU retiree benefits

For more information about enrolling in Medicare, please go to