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My Group Plan and Medicare: Understanding Your Options to Determine Which Coverage Is Best for You
People want to be able to receive quality health insurance while saving as much as they can. If you are approaching your 65th birthday and you qualify for Medicare but you're still employed you probably have questions: Should I stay with my group plan and Medicare just be an option to sign up for upon leaving employment? Should I enroll in Medicare and drop my group coverage? Either way you have questions that need answers now so you know what action to take. Here are some points to help you think about your health insurance from another perspective.
The Decision to Think about: Remain with Group Plan or Switch to Medicare?
Upon your 65th birthday you become eligible for Medicare health insurance. This may become an issue if you decide to continue working. This is a good time to answer important questions about your healthcare needs. There are significant questions only you can answer such as who will pay for the health coverage? Do you have other people covered on your health insurance such as a spouse or dependent? How much money do you earn? These elements will play a role in helping you determine the direction you should go with your options.
Answering Important Questions: Thinking about Your Group Plan vs Medicare
If you are interested in Medicare coverage now is time to do your homework on both options (your group plan and Medicare). You may have another set of questions that need clear answers such as how much will you pay with your chosen Medicare plan? What part of Medicare do I have to sign up for? Can I use health insurance from my job with Medicare? These questions can be discussed with Medicare and your employer. There is a detail you can ask about if you haven't already regarding the use of Medicare with your group insurance.
"When discussing matter with employer raise concerns about my group plan and Medicare." This is a thought many when comparing these options because they want to know which offers the most coverage and the best benefits. You should ask your employer about your group plan and whether it can be used with Medicare. This aspect is also referred to as credible coverage. This is when other forms of health insurance meet specific requirements of Medicare that allow the patient to retain their group insurance.
An example of this would include drug coverage. Your group plan should provide prescription drug cover that is up to or exceeds standards of Medicare. If this is the case you may be able to keep your group plan and enroll in Medicare Part A or B.
Should I Go with My Group Plan and Medicare be My Second Option?
Keep in mind limitations apply. Looking at your personal situation and understanding how your group plan is paid for (How much does your employer pay and what do you pay?) can give insight on what your next step should be. If you decide to leave your group plan and enroll in Medicare ask about Medicare supplement insurance.
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