Sunday, June 16, 2024

A tricky Medicare transition

One of the most common areas seniors are misled is the transition from Group Insurance (an employer plan) over to Medicare. Conversations with friends and human resources representatives often muddy the waters. Below are a few basic scenarios many seniors find themselves in.

Turning 65 while working for a large company (over 20 employees): Assuming a) your work plan is very good, or b) you have a spouse who is younger than you and not eligible for Medicare, you have the option to keep your Group Insurance, enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage) and DELAY Part B (Doctor Coverage). You will not pay any premiums for Medicare, and you can start your Part B with a Supplement or Advantage plan whenever you’re ready. Make sure you cease any contributions to an HSA (Health Savings Account) since Medicare is not a high-deductible plan. Also, check with your HR department to make sure your group plan is “creditable” according to Medicare.

Turning 65 while working for a small company (under 20 employees): You must enroll in Medicare because Medicare will be “primary” in this scenario. Your group plan will become secondary, or the “second payer.” Again, this assumes you want to stay on your group plan. I’m happy to work with you to determine if you’d be better off just dropping the work plan entirely.

Enroll in Medicare Part A and B at age 65 and drop your Employer Plan: This is a great option if you are paying high premiums or a high deductible on your group plan. Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement or Advantage plan can significantly reduce your costs and improve your coverage. I help folks compare plans often. You should be able to drop your group plan the month you turn 65.

Dropping your Employer Plan when your Medicare is already active: This happens a lot because many seniors are afraid they’ll be penalized if they don’t enroll in Medicare at 65, but they keep their company’s group plan. They retire and have been doubled-up on coverage for years. This scenario can be more complex and confusing, so please reach out if you’re in this group and we will happily help you through the transition.

Every senior has circumstances that make their individual transition to Medicare unique. It is our privilege to help you make that transition in the simplest, most affordable way. Please give me a call or stop by and visit at 2604 Long Prairie Rd, Suite 100 in Flower Mound. Happy 4th of July, and God Bless America!

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CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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