Your Dynamic Retirement

You can deduct your Part B premiums from your monthly benefits that you deduct while you’re receiving Social Security benefits. If you take out Medicare Part G or another type of health insurance, you may owe a monthly premium, depending on the plan you choose.

You pay a lump sum, known as a deductible, and Medicare starts paying for your care. Medicare covers most of the health care costs, such as prescription drugs, hospital visits and doctor’s fees. Both Part A and Part B of the original Medicare insurance have annual deductibles, but Medicare Part G and other health insurance plans also have deductibles.

Starting January 1, 2020, Medigap plans sold to new people through Medicare will not be allowed to cover Part B deductibles. Plans C and F are not eligible for Medigap Plan G, but they will still be available to you as of January 2, 2019. If you are eligible for Medicare but are not yet enrolled, you may be able to buy Plan C or Plan F.

If you take out a Medigap policy and wait until your COBRA insurance ends, you may have to behave yourself, including paying your union insurance before you pay for Medicare, or wait until your plan ends.

If you buy a Medigap policy sold by an insurance company outside your state, you may also need to conduct yourself.

Federal law does not require insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to people under 65. However, some states require Medigap insurance to sell you a Medigap policy even if you are older than 65, and you may be able to purchase any desired Medigap policy as long as you purchased it before the age of 65 and did not turn 65 at least two years before the policy’s term began.

According to CNBC, “While Medigap policies are standardized regardless of which insurance company sells them and where you live, the premiums can vary from insurer to insurer and among locations. And, experts say, this makes it important to understand the differences you may see when evaluating your options”.

“You’d want to know a carrier’s premium rating system, its claims history and how good its customer service department is,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans.

Employer plans often offer coverage similar to Medigap, but you don’t need a Medicaid policy. If you have group health insurance through your employer or a union that you or your spouse currently work for, you may want to wait until you enroll in Part B of an employer plan. Employers are not obliged to provide pension coverage, and they can change benefits and premiums, or even cancel coverage. You can control your insurance coverage if you cover retirees through an employer’s union.

Get a copy of your plan’s benefits brochure, call your employer’s benefits manager and look for a summary of the plan description provided by your employer or union. Your employer and your union can offer options to limit pension protection for you or your spouse, limit the amount of contributions or limit the number of years you are paid.

Federal COBRA rules protect you if your former employer goes bankrupt or goes out of business and other companies in the same organization still offer a health plan to the group.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and plan to return to the original Medicare, you can apply for a Medigap policy at the end of your COBRA period. When you leave your plan, your Medigap insurer will sell you a plan with no deductibles, no co-pays and no outside costs, leaving you with $1,000 a month in annual and deductible payments and $2,500 a year at the end – up. You have the right to purchase the Medigap policy even if you cannot or cannot obtain COBRA continuation insurance, as there is no longer an open enrollment period under the ACA.

If you are already enrolled in Medicare Part B, you will not receive a Medigap Open enrollment period when you turn 65. So, because you are insured on an ongoing basis, you ask for a new policy that takes effect when your Medicare Advantage enrollment ends.

You are likely to have a wider choice of Medigap policies and receive a lower premium over time. However, these policies are likely to cost you more than the average premium for a Medigap policy sold to people under 65. If your insurer decides to sell you a Medicaid policy for people over 65, you can use your medical insurance as the basis for the policy even if you don’t live in the state.

Even if you have occupational insurance, your employer can designate Medicare as primary health insurance at age 65, depending on your employer’s size.

If your occupational insurance is considered secondary coverage, you and other private insurers will pay for your medical claims, while Medicare pays its share. If your jobs – related insurance will be secondary coverage, then it’s important to sign up for Medicare. However, when your employers designate Medicare as your primary health insurance at age 65, Medicare becomes your secondary insurance, just as if it were your primary health insurance.

You will receive a letter from your employer’s insurance company informing you that you have a Medicare Part D plan that provides drug coverage for prescription drugs and other health services. You can sign up for part of the plan and have the memorandum of understanding made available to Medicare. If you lose your drug coverage, you are responsible for paying a portion of the penalty if you behave in one of the following ways: (1) underpaid, (2) out-of-pocket, or (3) over-the-counter.