Turning 65 and Medicare 4:
“I am still working and have insurance coverage. What do I need to do about turning 65 and Medicare?”
There are a few things to consider when transitioning to Medicare while still working:
- Cost of your current coverage through your employer;
- Are you insuring a spouse or is a spouse insuring you;
- What is your prescription drug load;
- 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 first point. We will cover the other points in the next four blogs.
Some people think it will be better if they enroll in an advantage or supplement plan while staying on their employer’s coverage. This will not do you any favors. That is because when you enroll into Medicare Part B you have a guaranteed enrollment into any Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan with no health questions asked. You do not want to start Medicare and let this opportunity slip by if you have health issues. You may not be able to get the coverage you want in the future when you go to leave or lose your employer coverage.
People who are still working ask themselves if it is better to start Medicare Part B and leave your employer coverage or just stay on your employer’s coverage? This comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. You will want to look at two variables: your liabilities and what you would have to pay in the worst case. Everyone wants the best coverage for the least amount of money. Medicare Part B, at a minimum, will cost you $135.50 per month. This amount can be more for high income wage earners since both Medicare Part B and Part D are means tested. See the blog on Means test for more info.
If your coverage through work costs you less then $135.50 per month then it should be easy stay on your current coverage. But wait…what risk or liabilities does my plan through work have? If your deductible and co-insurance on your work plan is higher than $6,000 per year, then you might want to go with Medicare Part B and a Medicare Advantage Plan to lower your risk. Employer coverage often has high deductibles. Most Medicare Advantage plans in our area have no deductible, which makes care much more accessible.
If you are paying between $135 and say $350 per month for your employer’s coverage, then we really have to dig into the numbers so we can figure out where you are getting the most bang for your buck.
If you are paying over $350 per month for your employer’s coverage, it is time to leave your employer plan, enroll in Medicare Part B and select which type of coverage you would want. Remember you have two choices: a Medicare Supplement coupled with a Medicare Part D stand alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan. The top of the line Medicare Supplement Plan F and Part D along with Medicare Part B should cost you under $350 per month. This would leave your prescription drug copays as your only liability.
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 date 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.