Many people spend a majority of their lives covered by company-sponsored health insurance, provided either by their own employer or their spouse’s. By the age 65, the option to enroll in Medicare becomes available.
To help make your transition from employer coverage to Medicare as seamless as possible – whether or not you plan to retire soon – it’s important to understand your options and obligations as well the differences between different Medicare parts coverage.
Understand Your Coverage Options
An employer’s group health coverage typically only offers a few, one-size-fits-all plans, making the re-enrollment process each year relatively easy. When you switch to Medicare, however, you have a much wider range of options and a much more difficult decision to make.
Learning the difference between original Medicare and Medicare parts A through D is just the beginning, there’s also Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans to name a few. Be sure to research all available options and find a solution that supports your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Coverage Varies According to Company Size
The number of people who work for your employer (current or former) will impact how and when you transition to Medicare.
Organizations with 20 employees or less require you to sign up for Original Medicare when you turn 65. This applies even if you remain working at the company instead of retiring. So, rather than being covered by your employer, Medicare becomes your primary insurance.
Organizations with more than 20 employees do not require you to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65. However, if you choose to sign up for Medicare, you have the option to pair it with your existing employer coverage. What does this mean? Your employer benefits act as your primary insurance, while Medicare is your secondary insurance. Alternatively, you may choose to defer employer coverage altogether in favor of a more cost-effective Medicare plan.
Note: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not include prescription drug coverage (Part D). If you plan to use your employer’s prescription plan coverage, be sure it meets Medicare’s minimum standards. If not, you will need to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Staying on Employer Coverage Past Age 65
If you prefer to stay on your employer coverage after qualifying for Medicare, you may need to proactively defer Medicare Part A and Part B. Otherwise, you might be charged with late enrollment fees.
Enroll in Medicare Parts A-D with Confidence
Making the switch from employer coverage to any of the four Medicare parts can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Medicare Choice Group can help you find the right health plan for your unique situation, answer questions about deferring Medicare enrollment, and more.
Connect with us online or give us a call at (855)-482-0574.