Turning 65 and Medicare 7
This is the fourth of five blog entries where we are answering the question:
I am still working with insurance coverage. What do I need to do about turning 65 and Medicare?
Let’s start with a few things that are going to determine what we will end up doing in the end about Medicare:
- Cost of your current coverage thru your employer (covered in part 4);
- Are you insuring a spouse or is a spouse insuring you (covered in part 5);
- What is your prescription drug load (covered in part 6);
- Size of your current employer;
- Are you collecting your Social Security benefit?
Now that we know what we have to consider let’s look at the fourth point we will cover, which is the size of your employer. The other points are in the upcoming blogs.
Working for a small employer (20 employees or less) has a lot of benefits except when it comes to having multiple insurers. When you turn 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, so you will be insured by both Medicare and your employer coverage. For small groups under 20 members, Medicare would be your primary insurer and your coverage through your employer would be your secondary. This means that you would definitely want to enroll in Medicare Part B. It is going to cost you a minimum of $135.50 in 2019.
This also means that you now have to choose whether or not to use your guaranteed enrollment privilege when you first start Medicare Part B. If you choose to stay on your group plan and later leave or lose coverage through your employer you may have to answer health questions for the coverage you would want.
Most of the time our clients will leave their employer group in this situation to take advantage of their guaranteed enrollment. Also, once you pay for Medicare, your employer coverage is often close to the cost of what a Medicare Supplement plus a Part D stand alone drug plan would cost. So we can keep your cost the same and give you better coverage. The other solution would be to go with a Medicare Advantage plan and cut your cost and keep your coverage close to what it was through your employer.
You may also be penalized for not enrolling when you were first eligible. I have seen clients get penalized for not signing up for Medicare Part B and Part D when they were first eligible. This penalty is added every month to your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums for the rest of your life.
Meeting with one of our agents from Sun Coast Legacy Advisors can help you answer these questions and more. We recommend that if you are getting ready to turn 65 that we get together for our Meet and Greet appointment about 5 to 6 months before you are getting ready to turn 65. We will be able to educate you on your options for coverage and present you with a timeline of key dates and benchmarks leading up to starting Medicare at 65.
Turning 65 can be simple and easy. Sun Coast Legacy Advisors is here to help you through the process. Email or Call to schedule your appointment today.