If you have Medicare and a group health plan (retiree coverage from a former employer), Medicare will generally pay your healthcare bills first, and your group health plan coverage pays second. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help navigate your retiree insurance coverage versus Medicare coverage.

  1. Following your retirement, will your employer coverage continue? When you have retiree coverage from an employer or union, they generally control it. Employers are not required to provide retiree coverage; they can modify benefits, premiums, or cancel coverage.
  2. Do you know the cost and specific coverage? Employers or unions might offer retiree coverage for you and/or your spouse but under certain limits and restrictions. It might only provide “stop loss” coverage, which begins paying your out-of-pocket costs once they reach a certain amount.
  3. When you are eligible for Medicare, what happens to your retiree coverage? If you were eligible for Medicare but didn’t sign up for it during any period of time, retiree coverage might not pay your medical costs. When you become eligible for Medicare, it is imperative that you enroll in both Part A and Part B to get full benefits from your retiree coverage.
  4. How does your retiree coverage work with Medicare? Obtain a copy of your plan’s benefit booklet and check out the summary plan description. Your employer or union usually provides this. You can also call your employer’s benefits administrator if unable to locate this information in the booklet.

If your former employer goes bankrupt or closes the business, Federal COBRA rules might protect you if any other company within the same corporate organization continues to offer a group health plan to its employees. That specific plan is required to provide you with COBRA continuation coverage. If COBRA continuation coverage is unavailable to you, purchasing a Medigap policy is possible, even if you are no longer in your Medigap open enrollment period. 

Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can advise whether to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. Your retiree coverage is probably similar to coverage under Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) since Medicare pays first after you retire. Retiree coverage isn’t the same thing as a Medigap policy, however, they both usually offer benefits that fill in some of Medicare’s gaps in coverage (coinsurance and deductibles.)  Sometimes retiree coverage provides extra benefits such as coverage for additional hospitalizations.

For more information regarding Medicare or retiree coverage, contact the experts at Senior Health Medicare today. We strive to provide answers with quality customer service, satisfaction, and care.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a decision to take carelessly. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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