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Medicare Or My Group Plan – What Should I Do?

Medicare Or My Group Plan – What Should I Do?

The average American becomes eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65. But if you’re still working and your employer provides healthcare, do you really need to enroll in Medicare? What about Medicare’s prescription drug benefit?

Medicare Part A, which most people should enroll in regardless of being employed, is free for most. It covers institutional care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, and certain care provided by home health agencies. Before enrolling in Part A, it’s imperative to talk with your employer as to whether Part A coverage will affect your current coverage.

Look here for more information on Medicare Part A coverage:

Medicare Part B covers outpatient(ambulatory) and preventative(shots, screening tests, etc.) care, and has a monthly premium cost of $120.7 a month for 2017 (the premium changes each year.) On top of this premium, there is a penalty of 10% added for each year enrollment in the program is delayed. So once you’re eligible, enroll right away to avoid the penalty. Once you retire, you have 8 months to enroll without penalty. This penalty not incurred, however, if you maintain your employer’s group health plan as your primary coverage, provided the company employees more than 20 people. So, this leads to the question of “should I keep my group coverage, or would it be better to enroll in Medicare?”

If your company has less than 20 employees, enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, to avoid paying for care out of pocket. Your employer’s coverage may deny certain services that Medicare would otherwise cover.

Look here for more information on Medicare Part B coverage:–12189

Now for Medicare Part D – prescription drug coverage. Not enrolling in Medicare Part B does not necessarily mean you should opt out of Part D coverage. There is a penalty for not enrolling in Part D similar to the one incurred for Part B. Switching over to Part D coverage is a decision that can be made after requesting your insurance carrier on whether or not your coverage is “creditable.” If it is in fact “creditable,” you can hold off enrolling in Part D without incurring a penalty later.

If you currently receive Social Security benefits, don’t worry about enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B. As a recipient of Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled the month you turn 65.

To speak with a broker about if now is the time to enroll, follow the link below or call us at 1-800-535-8016

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