Medicare or My Group Plan-What Should I Do?
The average American becomes eligible for Mediare coverage at age 65. But if you are 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 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 test, etc.) care, and has a monthly premium of ($134) for most people. You may pay more if you have a higher income. On top of this premium there is a penalty of 10% added for each year enrollment in the program is delayed. So once your eligible, enroll right away to avoid the penalty. Once you retire (and you are age 65 or older), you have 8 months to enroll without a penalty. This penalty is not incurred, however, if you maintain your employer’s group health plan as your primary coverage, provided the company employs more than 20 people. 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 you might consider enrolling in Medicare Part B when upper are first eligible. You will most likely see your coverage enhanced and your monthly premium cost reduced.
For more information on Medicare Part B coverage look her:
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 like the one incurred for Part B. Switching over to Part D coverage is a decision that can be made after requesting of your insurance carrier the answer to the questions on weather 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 would like further information regarding Medicare, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.medigappro.com/contact-us/ or call us at (800)-535-8016
Ted Guy-The Medigap Pro