November 10, 2017

Don't Overlook Medicare When Delaying Retirement

by Kerry Quick, Seniority Benefit Group

Ten thousand people turn 65 every day in the United States. However, traditional retirement at 65 and the pursuit of Medicare is no longer the norm and the pursuit of Medicare while actively employed has now taken its place.

Employer sponsored group health plans are not what they once were, premiums and deductibles are on the rise and an increasing number of people are finding Medicare is a more cost-effective option for health insurance.

If you pursue Medicare, the Part B premium (currently $134/month) becomes the baseline. While payroll deductions for employer coverage may at first seem consistent with the Part B premium, it is deductibles that change the conversation and drive the cost comparison. Today, most people in employer plans are faced with $2,500 deductibles on average. The movement into Medicare and supplemental coverages alleviates that financial burden. You may have copays with Medicare coverages, but you will not face thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket deductibles before your plan or policy pays.

When weighing options, it’s always an exercise in mathematics. Finding the most comprehensive coverage for the best price should be everyone’s goal.

If you’re approaching Medicare eligibility and are planning on working beyond your 65th birthday, don’t make the assumption your employer plan is your best option. Ask questions. Shop your options.

Even if you’re over 65, still working, and still on your employer plan, it’s not too late to weigh options. Typically, you can separate from an employer plan at any time. Loss of coverage, even if voluntary, allows you to move to Medicare without penalty.

We all know that the new constant with health insurance is change. Medicare is wildly misunderstood and often thought to be far more expensive than it is in reality. The good news: if you’re employed, soon to be 65 and not planning to retire, you have choices. And you might be able to free up dollars that you can redirect to your retirement fund – even better news.

Kerry Quick