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Are You 65 and Still on Your Employers Health Plan?

Studies have found that most employees appreciate receiving information on Medicare about 90 days before they reach Age 65. And with more and employees working beyond 65, they'll need to hear it again about 90 days before they retire.

At age 65, everyone receives Part A which covers hospital costs. In the basic Medicare plan, there are deductibles, copays and gaps in coverage, which is why most people consider purchasing private insurance such as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement.

At age 65, everyone has the option to receive Part B which covers both physicians and other medical expenses. The monthly cost for Part B ranges from $135 to $460 depending upon one's income. The cost is automatically deducted from one's social security payment.

If you don't opt for Part B at age 65. you will be penalized when you add it later UNLESS you have been covered by an employer's health plan during the interim. We will cover this in more detail in the counseling session.

Health Savings Account (HSA) Exception

If you participate in a Health Savings Account (HSA) and intend to do so until you reach Age 70, do NOT enroll in either Part A or Part B at Age 65. Either of these would make you ineligible for the HSA. We will cover this in more detail in the counseling session.

Medicare … OR … Your Group Health Insurance … Which is best?

Everyone is different. For some, Medicare may be the best option. It will often have lower deductibles and lower copays. How much does your employer contribute to the premium? A large premium contribution by your employer may make the group plan your best option. And don’t overlook the cost for Part B of at least $135 per month. If the Medicare HMO seems to make the most sense, you’ll want to make sure that your physicians are in the network. Many factors come into play and we can help you select the option that’s best for you.

What about the Under 65 Spouse?

What happens to coverage for the under 65 spouse when the employee moves to Medicare? COBRA rules allow the spouse to remain on the health plan and pay the singles employee rate for up to 36 months.