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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Kolitsas

Do I Need Medicare If I Have Retiree Coverage?

Retirement is a long and careful process, and you want the right insurance coverage to do the job. This is especially important when you no longer have employer coverage. However, not everyone’s employer insurance ends when they retire—in some cases, they will continue to provide retiree coverage. If that’s you, you may be wondering if you need Medicare, too. Let’s find out!

Medicare Enrollment and Employment

All U.S. citizens become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. If you’ve been retired for at least 4 months before your 65th birthday, you will be enrolled automatically. If not, you can do so through Social Security. Even if you are still working, you can still manually enroll in Medicare. If you still want to keep your employer coverage, you can enroll in both at the same time for more comprehensive benefits.

The same principles apply to those with employer benefits even while retired. You may have both at once for the additional coverage, choose employer coverage over Medicare, or unenroll from your employer coverage in favor of Medicare.

Delaying Medicare Enrollment

You do not need Medicare if you have retiree benefits. If you decide that you do not want Medicare, you can easily delay your enrollment.

In other circumstances, you would be penalized for delaying Medicare enrollment—a percentage increase is added onto your monthly premium. However, as long as you are working with employer benefits, or have retiree benefits, you won’t have to enroll.

You may decide to only stick with Medicare if you feel you are paying too much for your employer coverage. In that case, Medicare gives you the perfect opportunity to get out of your overpriced coverage while still keeping great benefits.

You may decide that you only want to stick with your employer benefits. If you are happy with your current coverage and don’t think that Medicare is right for you right now or for the foreseeable future, you do not have to enroll. If you choose to later on, or if something happens to your retiree coverage, you can enroll without a penalty within 6 months of the end of your coverage.

How Both Work Together

Having both retiree and Medicare insurance, however, may give you the most comprehensive, beneficial coverage possible at a relatively low price. How? All you have to do is sign up. As long as you have retiree insurance, you can sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 at any point.

If the company providing your retiree insurance has less than 20 employees, Medicare will be your primary insurer. If it has more than 20, Medicare will be secondary, and your retiree plan will be the primary. The primary will always contribute its share of the costs first, then the secondary provides their share to cover what’s left. So, when you have both plans, you will have a lot of coverage.

Learn More About Your Retirement Insurance with Innovative Senior Benefits

Innovative Senior Benefits can walk you through all of your retirement planning to get you on track towards a protected future. To learn more about Medicare, call 203-217-3366.

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