Page 10 - Network Magazine Winter 2019
P. 10

 Medicare as your employer plan?
MIRIAM ZETTLEMOYER
MEDICARE PLANNING SPECIALIST
Are your employer health insurance costs getting out of control? Medicare may be an answer you’re not thinking about.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is offered to American citizens turning 65 and other eligible individuals. The two parts of original Medicare are parts A & B. You can choose to add on a Supplement (options A – N; sometimes called Medigap) with a drug plan (Part
does have a cost and is determined by your income. The option to waive Part B is available if you have employer coverage on your own or through a spouse. If you don't have other health coverage deciding to waive Part B will cause a penalty if you don't sign up when you're first eli- gible. Part A is primary if you work for an employer with less than 20 employees participating in the health plan and you must enroll when you turn 65 to avoid a penalty and delays in acquiring Part A. If your employer has more
than 20 employees on their health plan than you could also decide to waive Part A.
Some employers may make you take full Medi- care benefits when you turn 65. Why do they do this? The Affordable Care Act that was established in 2010 and took effect in 2014 with many changes happening before that. It created a different group and individual health plan coverages costing the employer and em- ployee more money to cover older employees. Moving employees age 65 and older to Medi- care helps to control the out of pocket costs the employers and employees pay including deductible costs and costs when visiting the doctors, hospitals, surgeries, treatment, etc. Many times, the Medicare benefits offer better coverage with low or no deductibles and low or no out of pocket costs making this a great alternative to traditional employer plans.
A review of current employer plans versus Medicare Benefits is established before decid- ing to move off of your work benefits. We look at health, how often you go to the doctors, and what medications do you take regularly. Sec-
ond, we take a look at your budget and determine what the costs would be for each choice. Finally, we look at your health network preferences like doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. How important is it to have coverage when you travel? Medicare supplements and advantage plans do have domestic travel coverage options that vary
D) or a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan to cover ad- ditional costs not covered by original Medicare.
Medicare does work with employer coverages, and you should enroll in Part A when you turn 65 as it's free for most people. Part A helps cover the hospital portion of the benefit, and Part B is the medical portion. Part B
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