10 Medicare FAQs Answered for Your Employees TopicsPopular TopicsMost Recent Medicare Working Past 65 Lifestyle & Wellness Considering Retirement Existing Clients Employer Monthly Webinars Community Development If your employees are thinking about Medicare, they may be asking a lot of questions about how their benefits will change—especially if they are working past age 65. Our advisors are here to offer local Medicare assistance. Whether or not your retirees and workers are eligible for Medicare yet, one way to help them start the process is by learning the basics. Here, our advisors answer frequently-asked questions to help you support your team members as they transition to Medicare. 1. How do you sign up for Medicare Part A & Part B? Medicare Part A and Part B are also called “Original Medicare.” Regardless of employment status, individuals become eligible for Original Medicare when they turn 65. To enroll in Medicare Parts A and B manually, your employees and retirees can call our advisors. At no cost, we can discuss their options and find the right coverage for them. Depending on their individual situation and health care needs, we can customize their coverage through a combination of Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. We can also help find individual or Medicare coverage for spouses! 2. If someone is working past age 65, can they enroll in Medicare Part A only? The short answer: Yes. If an employee is at least 65 years old and has been employed for a minimum of 10 years under Medicare-covered employment while paying Medicare taxes, they will automatically be enrolled for premium-free Medicare Part A if they are currently receiving Social Security benefits. If they do not receive Social Security benefits, they must enroll for Part A manually. Calling our advisors is the easiest way to enroll at no cost. If an employee does not meet the work history requirement, they can still enroll in Medicare Part A and pay a premium. However, they should compare the coverage and costs of Medicare Part A to your organization’s group coverage. It may make more sense for them to stay on employer coverage. 3. What’s the difference between a retiree health insurance plan & Medicare? Your organization may offer retiree health insurance. In most cases, retiree health insurance plans act as secondary payers to Medicare. This means the retiree policy will cover some (if not all) of a retiree’s remaining expenses after Medicare pays its share first. To ensure your employees are fully covered in retirement, we recommend that they enroll in Medicare on top of your organization’s retiree health insurance plan. Based on your company size, your organization may even be required to have employees enroll once they are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B. Be sure to educate your employees about the coverage offered through your retiree health insurance program. Further, they can contact an advisor at RetireMEDiQ to compare coverage. 4. My employee plans to continue working past age 65. What does this mean for their health care coverage related to Medicare? If your employees plan on working past age 65, their entry into Medicare may look a little different—and that’s okay! They should keep these things in mind. Medicare & Employer Benefits Organization Size. If your organization has 20 or more employees, your workers may not need to enroll in Medicare. However, they should look into all their options once they’re eligible. Medicare may save them money compared to your organization’s employer coverage. Health Savings Account. Does your organization offer a high deductible health plan with a health savings account (HSA)? If so, your workers may want to wait to enroll in Medicare Part A. Six months before they enroll in Part A, both the organization and the employee must stop all HSA contributions. Original Medicare Enrollment Part A. Has your employee been working for at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes during that time? Are they currently receiving Social Security benefits? If so, they will be automatically enrolled in premium-free Medicare Part A (even if they continue working). Even if they do not meet the work history requirement, they can still enroll in Medicare Part A and pay a premium for coverage. Part B. If your organization provides low-cost health coverage, your employee may want to wait to enroll in Medicare Part B. Delaying Part B can save them money on monthly premium costs while they continue working past age 65. 5. When an employee enrolls in Medicare, will their HSA be affected? Yes. Your employee and organization must stop making HSA contributions to their account six months ahead of when their Medicare coverage begins. However, even after they enroll in Medicare, they can still use their existing HSA funds to pay for health care expenses. 6. Is Medicare coverage as good as employer group coverage? The short answer: It depends. Employer group coverage is often “one size fits all,” meaning employees don’t have much choice in their benefits. With Medicare, however, hundreds of plans are offered with a variety of benefits, coverage, and costs. It all comes down to what your retirees and employees working past 65 choose. Enrolling in Original Medicare may not cover everything they’re used to receiving through employer coverage. For example, Original Medicare doesn’t include prescription drug coverage. However, if they choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Supplement plan, they’ll most likely receive the same amount of coverage—if not more—than what’s provided by your organization’s group plan. 7. My employee is eligible for veteran’s benefits. Do they need Medicare too? A veteran who qualifies for health care benefits is not required to enroll in Medicare. However, they are eligible—so they can receive benefits through both programs. A Medicare Advantage plan may give them access to a wider network of providers on top of other benefits. Veterans who sign up for Medicare Advantage will continue to have access to their Tricare health insurance and Veterans Affairs (VA) coverage while receiving prescriptions through the same coverage as before. In addition, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans are specially designed to meet the coverage needs of veterans. 8. For retirees younger than 65, what options do they have for individual health insurance? How much do they cost? Countless individual health insurance plans are available based on your state. Depending on the plan chosen, required costs can vary. Your retirees and their spouses are free to email our advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org to get help narrowing down these options. We’ll help find the right health coverage for their needs. 9. An employee is eligible for Medicare, but their spouse is younger. What should they do? If your Medicare-eligible employees have dependents, such as spouses, those dependents cannot be covered by a Medicare plan. Once they enroll, their spouse will need to find individual health coverage through another source. If the spouse is currently unemployed or ineligible for employer coverage, additional options include: Purchasing an individual health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Applying for Medicaid, a public health insurance program based primarily on income and family size. Additional criteria for eligibility vary from state to state. Applying for temporary Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) insurance. COBRA allows individuals who have left or lost a job, as well as their dependents, to continue receiving health care coverage. 10. What’s the difference between a Medicare Advantage plan and a Supplement plan? Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans require costs like copayments and deductibles. MA plans typically have low or no premiums. In addition, individuals on an MA or MAPD plan may receive additional benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Supplements, also called Medigap plans, cover only those services included in Original Medicare. As its name suggests, a Medigap plan “fills in the gaps” and covers more costs for Medicare Parts A and B. Supplements often come with wider or unlimited provider networks. Unlike MA plans, Supplements typically have higher premiums, and they do not include prescription drug, dental, vision, or hearing coverage. Learn More & Get Local Medicare Assistance Another great way for you and your employees to learn more about Medicare is to attend one of our webinars. Our advisors host sessions on the latest topics, and we’ll answer your questions when you attend! We can help your employees find the right coverage, whether they are working past age 65 or want to compare their retiree health insurance against their Medicare options. At no cost, we’ll customize the right coverage for their needs. They can email questions to email@example.com or schedule a call with us. Already a RetireMEDiQ client? Contact your advisor team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay informed about Medicare An easy way to stay updated on Medicare and any important changes is to sign up for the free, customizable RetireMEDiQ newsletter. Based on your personal preferences and interests, helpful articles and community-related content will be sent directly to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter Yes! 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