At a time in life when one would expect things to become more simple – Medicare happens. If you are over the age of 65 and have worked more than 40 quarters or have been on Social Security Disability for 2 years you are eligible for Medicare.
If one qualifies, enrollment in Medicare part A is automatic many people mistakenly believe that if they work they need not enroll in Medicare part B – that could not be further from the truth.
If a Medicare eligible employee works for a firm that has less than 20 employees Medicare automatically becomes primary coverage even if they are on the employer’s health plan. That health plan will NOT pay any expenses that Medicare would have covered, they will simply carve those expenses out of the payment. That employee MUST enroll in the part B portion of Medicare.
If the Medicare eligible employee works for a firm of more than 20 employees and is covered by them, Medicare coverage becomes secondary coverage and part B is not required until they are no longer on that plan. Once outside a group plan Medicare parts A and B do not cover everything and it is wise to purchase either a supplement or an advantage plan in combination with drug coverage.
The advent of “Obamacare” has not left the Medicare eligible untouched. Medicare Advantage plans are falling out of favor and the Annual Election Period (AEP) runs from October 15 through December 7 and for those wishing to leave Advantage plans the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will be 45 days.
Furthermore, Part D, the drug coverage portion of Medicare is gradually changing with a closing of the coverage gap (donut hole) over 10 years.
Choosing a plan can be a little cumbersome, we can help to ease the confusion and stress that it can cause.