Becoming Medicare Eligible While Still Working • Peters & Milam Insurance Services • Santa Barbara, California
If you don't have employer-sponsored coverage when you become Medicare eligible (generally at age 65, unless disabled earlier), you should almost always sign up for Medicare Parts A & B in addition to some type of supplemental coverage. However, if you are still employed whilst becoming Medicare eligible, this decision becomes much less clear.
When nearing age 65, the first thing to do is to check with your employer about what, if any, type of Medicare coverage your insurance plan requires you to get. For employers with over 20 employees, their insurance pays first (is primary) & Medicare pays second. The carrier generally does not require you to sign up for coverage if there is a cost. This would mean they wouldn't require you to get Part B, but might require Part A, as it is free to the vast majority of Americans.
For those working for employers with less than 20 employees, Medicare will be primary (will pay before the health insurance). In these cases it is critical you determine what your plan requires. As a general rule, everyone should sign up for Part A as it provides a high level of hospital coverage & doesn't require a premium. For Part B, there is a monthly charge of $134 per month in 2018 (this premium can rise for high earners). Most employer plans will not require you to sign up and pay the Part B premium, but some may. In either case you must confirm how the plan will coordinate with Medicare. In some cases, buying Part B could make sense, even if your plan doesn't require it.
With smaller employers, where plans are age rated, it might even make sense to drop your employer's health plan and move to Medicare with a suppplement, or a Medicare Advantage plan. This could be advantageous if your monthly cost to be on the plan is $250 per month or more (this can vary based on a number of factors). If this is your situation, reach out to our team to get a no-obligation assesment. Or, feel free to reach out with any questions regarding your options as you approach this important time!
Our Medicare Team includes Angie Kile (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Tarah Thompson (email@example.com) - either of them will be happy to help you navigate your options!
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