Recently I was contacted by an individual on an employer retiree plan whose spouse is also covered on that plan and is now turning 65. He contacted me because he wanted to know if there is a less costly option for his wife (and maybe for him as well).
Yes, when you turn 65 and are not working, you need to enroll onto both Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (outpatient services). During our upcoming review our initial focus will be on assessing whether it makes sense to keep her on his employer plan as her secondary to Medicare or make a change. We will compare his benefits and the cost for those benefits under his employer plan with the standard Medicare insurance options offered (i.e., a Medicare supplement and stand-alone drug plan /or/ a Medicare Advantage HMO plan containing drug coverage).
The good news is they have choices….sometimes that may also be seen as bad news simply because when individuals turn 65 they typically are confused by Medicare and by the mail from insurance companies that inundates their mail box. My focus at our upcoming meeting will be on which of the choices available will best fit her medical, prescription drug and financial needs.
If you are in this situation, I recommend that you review your options 4 months ahead of time, so that you don’t feel so stressed or confused when you have your actual election period.