A client called me recently and her sister is living abroad and she is turning 65 soon. The sister plans to move back to the US at some point but she was unsure if she should enroll in Medicare now or can she wait until she moves back to the US?
The answer is not straight forward as you may think, it depends on your specific situation. The following are a few examples:
I am living outside the US and will be turning 65.
You must live in the US to file for Part B if all of these factors apply
• You’re a U.S. citizen
• You’re over 65
• You’re not eligible for Social Security benefits
• You lived in a foreign country when you turned 65
You’re first eligible to enroll in Part B the month you return to the U.S. to establish your new residence. You won’t have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you enroll in Part B within 3 months of when you first return to the U.S.
I live outside the U.S., and I qualify for premium-free Part A. What do I need to do?
If you don’t live in the U.S., you can contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy, or U.S. Consulate to enroll.
I live outside the U.S., and I don’t have Part B.
You’re over 65, currently getting Social Security retirement benefits and Part A, and you didn’t take Part B when you were first eligible. You may only apply for Part B from January 1–March 31 each year. And, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B.