Many seniors are over 65 and are still working. Some because they want to,
others because they must and still others because they do not know what to
do with themselves if they are not working.
Regardless of which group you are in somethings need to be considered
about Medicare and social security.
Medicare was designed for those seniors 65 and over (or under 65 and
disabled) to ensure they had health insurance in their later years. There are
some rules you need to consider if you are still working.
The first is how many employees work in your company? It is simple if there
are more than 20 employees you can keep your group coverage and not
take Medicare. You must also make sure that insurance has creditable drug
coverage. HSAs are not considered creditable drug coverage, but you could
purchase a standalone drug plan.
If your group has less than 20 employees, you must take Medicare. With
groups under 20 employees Medicare pays first, but you keep your group
coverage as a 2 nd payor.
The other consideration is the coverage itself. What are the components of
your group coverage? What is the monthly premium, the deductible and
maximum out of pocket? Do you have an underage spouse that still needs
that group coverage until they reach 65? Consider these factors when
deciding to take Medicare at age 65 or wait until you retire. Those are the
complicated scenarios that you must consider. If you must take Medicare
due to your companies’ size, you may still need to provide coverage for your
underage spouse. Consider buying individual coverage for your spouse.
These are complicated scenarios, and a qualified health insurance broker can
advise you. They do not charge for their help so it is worth speaking to them
to avoid any later issues like fines or lifetime penalties because you did not
take the coverage when you were required.
Social Security is easier to figure out. You can take it anytime from age 62
to 70. The payouts are less based on the age you began coverage and your
lifetime income. The other consideration is your current income. Social
Security deducts your benefit payout based on your income until you reach
the age specified where there are no deductions. The charts relating to those
wages and deductions can be found on the social security website,
www.ssa.gov. At age 70, you get social security payments whether you want
them or not.
Once you have figured out your health insurance situation and your social
security situation the final decision is when do you hang up your spurs and
retire. Now you must decide what Medicare coverage will work best for you
and your spouse? In Clark County, there are only 82 different Medicare
options. Seriously that is the number of choices available. Since Medicare
brokers do not charge for their services, you should consider contacting one
to help you through the maze of choices. They can help you navigate
through those choices and based on what you tell them point you in the
right direction. The commissions earned and paid by the insurance
companies are pretty much the same so they typically will not steer you in
one direction because they make more money.
Please take the time to consider all your options before you make your
decision as your decision in many cases is final. Referring to Medicare
Supplements as your choice are final unless you can prove you are insurable.
With Medicare Advantage, you can change annually without proving you are
Different types of plans with different rules for each. Choose wisely.
Len Bartend, broker
The Barend Agency Inc.