More 65-year-old Americans are electing to stay in the workforce, and if they’re fortunate to have benefits that accompany full-time employment, then full dependence on Medicare can be postponed.
Most workers, however, are not so lucky when it comes to employer-provided health care. When an employee hits 65-years-old, the customary retirement age, then companies prefer health insurance benefits to be paid by Medicare.
Anyone still working through their ‘60s, needs to be fully aware of details about group health insurance coverage and Medicare plans. Often, it’s a gray area; there isn’t a benefits department in a workplace to assist 64-year-olds with insurance choices or which path to take and when.
To help people navigate the many choices Medicare insurance requires, which often become complex and confusing, here are some tips to consider:
1. Look at the history of how a company or union treats retirees’ insurance coverage. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to retirees and group health insurance. A company may elect to cancel coverage on a whim or alter rules and coverage guidelines. If you feel there’s greater risk not knowing, then supplement your insurance with other options.
2. Once retired, you’re likely to require a mix of Medicare and an employers’ group health coverage. As said, no company has the same rules; it’s gray. That puts you squarely in the navigator seat to ensure you’re in as much control as you can be.
3. Speak with health benefits administrators. There are many resources throughout companies and corporations set up to manage employees’ retirement benefits and health insurance. Do make a point to contact them as often as you need to in order to get a solid understanding of your future benefits.
4. Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap plans, should be considered. Medicare Supplement plans, sold by private companies, help cover costs, like deductibles, co-payments, or co-insurance not included in original Medicare insurance.
Retiree Health Choices recently launched EasyMedicareChoices.com featuring Medicare Supplement insurance plans for Boomers in Illinois.
Plans are to go national with the roll-out in 2014.Retirees can review plan options for Medicare Supplement in Illinois online before purchasing or speaking with anyone.
5. Understand spousal benefits. It’s easier to research insurance benefits for one person, but when a spouse is included more detail is required. Ensure you’re informed about where and how a spouse’s benefits fit into the equation, whether with an employer’s group health insurance or Medicare plans.