Medicare Coverage 101: A Guide Of Faqs For Upcoming Retirees

Sherri Ramos

Concerns about keeping adequate medical insurance coverage don't really ever go away once you hit adulthood and start working. You will go from paying for insurance through your employer or a private insurer to eventually being eligible for Medicare plans and coverage when you hit the age of retirement. If this is a change you will be seeing soon, you are bound to have some questions etching their way into your mind. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about Medicare coverage and retirement and the answers you will want to know going forward.

Are you automatically eligible for Medicare because you retire?

You are automatically eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, but not necessarily because you have retired. If you have been employed for a long time, especially with the same company, you may be eligible for retirement sooner than the age of 65, and the age benchmark is what determines your eligibility for coverage first and foremost. You can get Medicare coverage if you are disabled and forced to stop working because of that, but only if you have been approved for Social Security Disability benefits. 

Can you still get Medicare if you are covered by an employer's group health plan?

Even once you retire, it is not uncommon to carry your employer's insurance coverage for a bit longer than your actual last working day. For example, you may retire in April, but your health insurance coverage through the employer's group health plan may not end until open enrollment in the fall. You do have to enroll yourself in Medicare, so it is okay to keep your employer's coverage for a bit after you retire. You have eight months to enroll in Medicare once you have retired, so you do have a little time to make the transition. 

How much do you have to pay for Medicare?

The premium costs for Medicare can vary, and there are different costs associated depending on whether you have Medicare part A or Medicare part B. Medicare part A is free for most people as long as either you or your spouse worked for ten years and paid in Medicare taxes. Medicare part B is more likely to come along with a premium. If your income is less than $85,000 per year, your premium should be $134 per month. If your income is higher than that, your premium will go up. 

Contact a service, like Senior Advisors, for more help.