Don't Get Trapped By Medicare Enrollment Rules

The rules for enrolling in Medicare are strict, and the cost of making a mistake can be high.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article, originally published in the June 2010 issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report, has been updated as of October 2011. To subscribe, click here.

Retiring past age 65? You may choose to stick with your employer's health plan rather than signing up for Medicare. But you could risk going without insurance for several months, and pay an annual penalty for life, if you don't follow Medicare's strict enrollment rules.

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Susan B. Garland
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Susan Garland is the former editor of Kiplinger's Retirement Report, a personal finance publication whose subscribers are retirees and those approaching retirement. Before joining Kiplinger in 2006, Garland was a freelance writer whose work appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Modern Maturity (now AARP The Magazine), Fortune Small Business and other publications. For 12 years, Garland was a Washington-based correspondent for BusinessWeek, covering the White House, national politics, social policy and legal affairs. Garland is a graduate of Colgate University.