A blog about Medicare. What you and your employees need to know
Prepare – Unexpected Events and Medicare
Author: Lora Drummond
Medicare Transition Specialist
#19 -Solution – Unexpected Events and Medicare
When life creates unexpected events, you don’t usually have a checklist to guide you. Stress generally comes from not knowing what to do first! And that can make it hard to make decisions.
Having a trusted Medicare expert to refer employees to when certain unexpected events occur can sure be a welcome opportunity. (And you can acknowledge your superhero power for providing your employees a helpful solution too!)
Below are two stories about retirees referred to The Medicare Architects team by their HR partner who needed help when unexpected events occurred.
Losing a Spouse
Miles was in his 80’s and was covered by his wife Dottie’s lifelong retirement plan generously offered by her employer. Their plan included healthcare benefits, so they never fully transitioned to Medicare when they were first eligible. When Dottie unexpectedly passed away, the last thing on Miles’ mind was worrying about his benefits. The family didn’t find out that Miles’ benefit coverage would terminate following his wife’s death until several months later. So the employer’s HR team referred him to us for guidance.
Fortunately, Miles was already enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B, but he needed to add a prescription drug plan and enhance his coverage.
We were able to have a virtual meeting with him and his children in Ohio. Our Certified Medicare Planner® could qualify Miles’ needs and show them all the plans available to them in his zip code. Miles was able to take advantage of a Medicare Special Enrollment period to add a supplement and drug plan to his Medicare benefits because he was losing his wife’s creditable coverage.
Having his employer refer him directly to us created employee confidence. And we provided an unexpected stress-free way to include his family comfortably in the discussion from home and eliminated his worry for supplementing the employer benefits he was losing.
Moving Closer to Family
COVID certainly created challenges during the past year. But the separation it caused between family members, in particular, has people rethinking their retirement logistics. A growing percentage of our client retirees have decided to relocate closer to their grandchildren. Even if it means going back to snow. Managing the proximity of family members has become a priority to them.
This is the epiphany Marilyn had as she was approaching her 65th birthday.
Marilyn decided to retire from her bookkeeping job just a few months ago. The time she missed with her daughter and grandkids during the months of COVID made her decide moving closer to them in Florida was important. She would just be trading desert sunshine for ocean sunshine and gaining more family time!
After making her decision, she spoke to her employer about her timeline. Her employer was a small firm that didn’t offer retirement benefits, and Marilyn had many questions about going on Medicare. Her employer was not comfortable managing her transition, and instead of sending her to the Medicare.gov website to navigate plan choices, she referred Marilyn to us.
Since Marilyn had never been on Medicare, she attended a 123Easy Medicare workshop first to learn Medi-care-eez. Then she met with a Certified Medicare Planner®, who explained her Medicare options and identified some of her needs.
One important ingredient to picking a plan was the zip code she would be moving to. We would need that detail to better match the available plan options to her needs. So she decided to call us when she had narrowed down her location choices. Because she was just going to turn 65, she could enjoy her initial enrollment period (of 7 months) to move and still have time to enroll.
A call back to us came quickly as Marilyn’s daughter invited her to live with them before rushing to choose a place. So Marilyn was able to provide her daughter’s zip code and enroll in Medicare to be effective on her 65th birthday and coordinate her last day of work.
Marilyn was so grateful we helped her plan her transition and eliminate at least a portion of the stress of retiring and moving. And all the guidance was free to her and her employer too. Now the only thing Marilyn needs to worry about is unpacking her floatie, and hitting the beach!
We want to offer our services to help your employees make confident, stress-free, and smooth transition plans too.
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