As I meet and guide seniors through the “Medicare Maze”, I talk with many who are turning 65, but have decided to continue working either for financial reasons, or because their spouse is younger and they need to stay on their employer plan to maintain a healthcare plan until their spouse ages into Medicare.
Employees who reach age 65 will want to determine whether to stay on the employer's group health plan, enroll in Medicare or perhaps even maintain coverage under both plans.
It’s important to understand all options and decide which route to take.
If you are nearing Medicare eligibility age and will continue working, here are some questions to ask yourself:
How do the costs (premiums, co-pays, out-of-pocket limitations, etc.) compare?
What is the scope of coverage, and will coverage be similar?
Do the employee's current providers accept Medicare? How important is this to the employee?
Does the employee have dependents who would lose coverage under the group plan if he or she elects Medicare?
Which services and options does the employee use most under the group plan, and are these covered under Medicare and at similar rates?
Regardless of which route you take, it’s beneficial to go ahead and enroll in Medicare Part A, opt out of Part B for the time being until you retire and lose your employer coverage.
You have paid for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) your entire life through payroll withholding…Take advantage of this benefit as soon as you can!