A blog about Medicare. What you and your employees need to know
What Does Oprah Have in Common with 3 Million Americans?
Author: Lora Drummond
Medicare Transition Specialist
Oprah Winfrey, Reba McIntyre, and Kris Jenner are among the celebrities blowing out candles to celebrate turning 65 this year and will become eligible for Medicare along with 3 million other Americans. Included in that number of eligibles are your own “celebrity” company performers who are continuing to work past their 65th birthday. When they ask about Medicare are you ready to guide them?
In Maricopa County in the state of Arizona alone, there are:
– 56 Medicare Advantage plans offered by 15 different insurance companies in 28 networks.
– 31 Drug plans offered by 12 different insurance companies
– 60+ Medigap plans to choose from
When it comes to advising on Medicare coverage, there are over 5,000 benefit combinations that a member can choose from. And, those offerings are also different across the nation and by country and zip code.
90% of eligible-employees can realize a cost-savings for transitioning to Medicare! But undertaking comparing that number of benefit option combinations with individual needs might cause folks to avoid discussing it with their trusted HR partner.
A Certified Medicare Planner™ can help with those conversations. And if they are licensed with ALL the insurance companies, they can use technology to help match the best plan with an individual’s needs. A Tool like a Blueprint Builder™ will “automagically” provide all the plans available in a beneficiary’s area and narrow down choices to match their needs from all those thousands of combinations!
To Defer or Not to Defer Enrollment
Remember it’s ok for your employees to defer enrollment if they are still working after 65 and covered under the employer’s creditable group plan.
But it never hurts to compare group plan costs against Medicare.
You might give your employees a nice birthday gift in savings by showing them the benefits of transitioning to Medicare when they are eligible.
Want to avoid all the Medicare hassles? Consider partnering with a Medicare Transition Team. Maybe one with Certified Medicare Planners to help your employees. Certified Medicare Planners are trained to provide the tools and technology your employees need to confidently transition to Medicare with no penalties or reduction in options.
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What can folks do when they retire and are on Medicare, and then want to go back to work and enroll in their employer’s health benefits.
Choosing a plan based on a TV ad, a neighbor’s experience (good or bad), a postcard mailer, or a family member’s advice is not based on EXPERT advice. Unless, of course, your neighbor is a Certified Medicare Planner®!
When working past age 65 make sure your employer’s health plan is creditable before you defer your Medicare enrollment when first eligible.
COBRA after age 65 presents many unrealized risks when enrolling in Medicare later. Create a Medicare transition plan to avoid these risks.
Certified Medicare Planners® can be advocates for your employees when situations arise with Medicare and Insurance companies.
Medicare offers retirement benefit choices, and Certified Medicare Planners® provide Medicare transition with true fiduciary support.
Can you use drug manufacturer coupons and patient assistance programs when you are on Medicare to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses?
Medicare has many plan options so you are not stuck with the Medicare plan you chose! You should review your plan annually.
When transitioning to Medicare, employees will need a form called an Employment Verification Form from you to help them enroll under a special enrollment period and avoid penalties.
For retiring veterans, combining TRICARE for Life military benefits with Medicare is a coverage and cost win.