Medicare@work

A blog about Medicare. What you and your employees need to know

When Medicare is Not a Family Affair

Author: Lora Drummond

Medicare Transition Specialist

Posted: 10/05/2020

 When Medicare is not a Family Affair

When it comes to health benefits and couples, Medicare planning is one of the times a couple does not have to agree. They likely will not even start Medicare at the same time. The choices for coverage can be with different insurance companies and the extent of coverage chosen based on individual needs.  

Starting with some basic differences:

  • Couples likely do not share the same doctors, or at least may have some different specialists whom they do not share. 
  • Couples likely do not share the same medical conditions or manage them with the same medications. 
  • The frequency of healthcare visits also plays in healthcare benefit decisions on which couples may differ.

Couples are composed of individuals, so why should they have to be on the same healthcare plan? Medicare is created for individuals to enroll in. So each person can pick a plan that more appropriately meets their needs when they are eligible. 

Routinely we tell our HR partners that promoting conversations about Medicare is a benefit to employees so that working eligibles understand ALL their options- even those options outside of their group plans. As their trusted benefits partner, HR professionals create opportunities to provide discussions about benefits choices that employees trust. Sometimes Medicare makes more appropriate sense for healthcare coverage than group plans. But if employees don’t understand Medicare or that it is even an option, they won’t initiate a discussion. Medicare is complex and most people select the easy option to stay on a group plan, even when they might be paying premiums for coverage they will never use.

Here are some scenarios to consider:

-If an individual and their spouse are over 65 and still working and both receive benefits from an employer plan, they can stay on their employer plans as desired or they can transition to Medicare when the math makes sense to do so. What’s ‘the math”? That’s where they compare costs between Medicare and their group plan. 

-If one spouse is close to turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare, it’s the perfect time to compare Medicare to any group plan offerings. The eligible spouse may elect to join their spouse on a group plan, but doing the math on costs and comparing options is always recommended. Family plans can often come with high premiums and deductibles. Certified Medicare Planners ® are trained fiduciaries to help analyze options. 

  • Keep in mind that with some chronic conditions, Medicare plans can offer different coverage than group coverage. Depending on what your group coverage offers, it is helpful to explore the options Medicare offers for managing your care. 

-When both retire and are ready to transition to Medicare, each person can select a plan that aligns with their individual goals and wishes.  

-When it comes to lifestyle, does one spouse make more trips to visit grandchildren or perhaps hike, bike, and climb in remote locations, or perhaps is one a homebody? If one plans to travel visiting family, a Medicare supplement that has no network requirements like a Medicare Advantage plan might be a preferred plan option. 

-If one is relatively healthy and rarely visits a doctor, a Medicare Advantage plan with no premium or deductible might be a better fit financially.

-Each individual pays separate premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments on Medicare so the choice for coverage can fit the individual.

 Medicare eligibility creates opportunities for personal choice. So wherever your employee is in their journey approaching or past age 65, by providing them access to experts who can partner with you to show them differences, allows them to add Medicare into their retirement planning strategy.

Medicare eligibility creates opportunities for personal choice. So wherever your employee is in their journey approaching or past age 65, by providing them access to experts who can partner with you to show them differences, allows them to add Medicare into their retirement planning strategy.

HR Superstars Need Medicare Partners Too!

An aging workforce can benefit from having ready access to partners trained to guide with Medicare so open discussions can help them. Why not add this partnership to your team?

Consider the options of working with a team of Medicare experts to guide Medicare discussions with your employees. 

With our partnership, you support these opportunities for them:

  • Could save them from paying for more coverage than they need, 
  • Avoiding Medicare pitfalls later when they are making an exit plan, 
  • Readies employees to transition to medicare when it’s appropriate for them, and 
  • Provides a partner to non-biasedly represent ALL the Medicare plans in an area.

Best of all… our services are free to you and your employees. 

Call us to learn more about how we are helping other companies so you too can add uncovering ‘grand discoveries’ to help your employees and your list of things you do best. 

 

Create a compliant Medicare benefit support plan.

Give your employees personal guidance from a team of experts that will follow them after they retire.

When choosing Medicare couples don't need to choose the same plan or insurance carrier.
By adding Medicare education to your benefits package you are adding unrealized total rewards and providing more choices for your employees. Having a Medicare transition team creates confidence in your ability to compliantly educate and transition eligible employees to Medicare while reducing costs for your employees and boosting your bottom line.

Ready to get started?
Check out our blog weekly for new resources, and helpful tips and tricks to build your Medicare transition strategy.

Your Medicare Transition Partner
– Lora

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