3 Questions You MUST Ask Yourself Before Enrolling in Medicare Part B
When approaching 65, most people sign up for Part B, but not everyone. And for good reason, too—not just because they didn’t plan well and missed the deadline. If you are wondering if you are one of these few, stay tuned! The answer is dependent on these three questions:
Question 1: Will I (Or My Spouse) Continue Working?
You might be more than ready and able to clock out of that stuffy office or factory for the last time. If this is you, go ahead and enroll. Lack of active employment forfeits your right to delay Part B (even if you have retiree benefits from either your or your spouse’s employer).
However, you or your spouse might continue active employment past age 65 and have insurance coverage through your employer plan. In this case, move on to question #2.
Question #2: Who Pays First?
Medicare or the employer? This is an important question to ask because if Medicare pays first and you don’t get on part B, you could be stuck footing some pretty hefty bills on outpatient services. Your employer won’t pay for it because they expected you to get on Medicare. However, if the employer pays first, the decision to delay Part B and stick with your employer health insurance might save you cash on premiums.
The way it works is actually quite simple: Do you work for a company of 20 employees or more? Then the employer pays first. How about fewer than 20? Then Medicare pays first.
But don’t just assume. To be certain, ask your human resources department or employer. They might surprise you with their answer.
Refer to question 3 if you or your spouse is covered under a health plan that insures 20 or more employees.
For more information on the answer to this question, refer to this Kiplinger article entitled “Should You Enroll in Medicare If You Are Still Working?” The “Who Pays First” chart mid-page is especially helpful.
Question #3: Is Medicare Cheaper?
Some people have excellent employer plans that make sense to stay on. But for others, it is a toss up. And for a few, Medicare is clearly the cheaper option. The only way to find out is to perform a cost to benefits analysis to determine which is more cost effective. If the employer plan is more expensive, then sign up for Part B.
If this helped you come to a conclusion on enrolling in Part B coverage, I wish you sincere congratulations. You are one step closer to a smooth retirement transition. But—of course—you are not done yet. There are many more things to consider.
Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!
If you would like our assistance to perform a cost/benefit analysis, or need more immediate answers to your questions, give our office a call at 937-492-8800 and we will see how we can help!