Who Can Help Me Sort Through All This
Federally funded State Health Insurance Assistance Programs offer certified, unbiased counselors to help you explore Medicare options. Their services are free, and they have offices nationwide.
Plan on at least two meetings to get up to speed, says Kinney maybe a group overview first and a one-on-one session a month later, when a counselor can help you sign up. To locate the office nearest you, call 877-839-2675 or go to shiptacenter.org and click on Find Local Medicare Help.
Do I Need Expat Health Insurance
The cost of doctors visits, medicines and medical tests can add up very quickly, especially if you are an expat living in another country and are not covered under the countrys health insurance plan. Being an expat brings along with it, its own set of challenges your health should not be one. This is where Health Insurance steps in, so that one can have access to the best healthcare without fearing the financial strain. Guaranteeing you and your loved ones, the peace of mind everyone deserves.
International Coverage: If you are an individual who travels frequently, an international policy can provide you with extensive health cover even when you are abroad. You may have travel insurance in place, but bear in mind these policies are designed only for short visits and to cover for emergencies.
Tailor Made: Individual private medical insurance policies are tailor made to fit the needs of expats, as they take into account factors such as how pre-existing conditions are handled and if there are any age restrictions.
All inclusive: Even if you are eligible for subsidized medical cover, most public healthcare policies are not all-inclusive which means there are gaps in the coverage and certain treatments might not be covered. An expat policy gives you thorough access to the finest healthcare amenities in the country.
If You Choose An Imrf
If you enroll in an IMRF-endorsed plan after retirement, or participate in the Sav-Rx Prescription Drug Discount Card Program, Delta Dental plan, or the United Healthcare Vision Care plan, you can choose to have your insurance premiums deducted directly from your monthly benefit payments.
To request automatic premium deduction, please complete a “Health Care Program Premium Deduction Authorization for IMRF Endorsed Plans,” form and return it to Doyle Rowe LTD with your enrollment form.
Automatic premium deduction is available on all Doyle Rowe plans except for:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan for retirees and family members under the age of 65
- Medicare Part D plan participants
Medicare Part D premiums cannot be deducted from your IMRF benefit payment, but you can elect to have them deducted from your Social Security payment.
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If You Choose Health Care Continuation
If you continued your health care coverage through your employer after retirement, you can choose to have your insurance premiums deducted directly from your monthly benefit payments.
To request automatic premium deduction, please fill out IMRF Form 7.10, Health Insurance Continuation Through Employer – Premium Deduction Authorization, and return it to your employer. Your employer will complete the bottom portion of the form and submit it to IMRF.
How Does Medicare Work After Retirement
Retirement age is not a number thats set in stone. Some people may have the option to retire early, while others need or want to keep working. The average retirement age in the United States in 2016 was 65 for men and 63 for women.
Regardless of when you plan to retire, Medicare has designated age 65 as the starting point for your federal health benefits. If you choose to retire early, youll be on your own for health coverage unless you have specific health issues. Otherwise, youre advised to sign up for Medicare programs in the few months before or after your 65th birthday.
If you continue working after age 65, different rules apply. How and when you sign up will depend on what kind of insurance coverage you have through your employer.
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How Does Medicare Work With My Job
Keep in mind that:
- Most people qualify to get Part A without paying a monthly premium. If you qualify, you can sign up for Part A coverage starting 3 months before you turn 65 and any time after you turn 65 Part A coverage starts up to 6 months back from when you sign up or apply to get benefits from Social Security .
- If you have a Health Savings Account, you and your employer should stop contributing to it 6 months before you sign up for Part A to avoid a tax penalty.
An Alternative Way To Pay For Health Care Costs
If youre struggling to pay for prescriptions, dental care, home care or any other medical expenses, and its not worth getting private health insurance , what options do you have?
For homeowners aged 55-plus, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage® from HomeEquity Bank could provide the money you need to pay all of your medical costs, without having any impact on your retirement income.
With a reverse mortgage you can receive the money in a lump sum or in monthly payments, to coincide with your monthly health care costs. And, because you dont have to pay what you owe , until you decide to sell your home, it wont stretch your finances.
If health insurance for retirees in Canada is out of reach for you, but you have considerable health care expenses, call us now at 1-866-522-2447. Well work out how much cash you can access and help you start the process.
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Do I Need To Get Medicare Drug Coverage
You can get Medicare drug coverage once you sign up for either Part A or Part B. You can join a Medicare drug plan or Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage anytime while you have job-based health insurance, and up to 2 months after you lose that insurance.
Even if you have a Special Enrollment Period to join a plan after you first get Medicare, you might have to pay the Part D late enrollment penalty. To avoid the Part D late enrollment penalty, dont go 63 days or more in a row without Medicare drug coverage or other .
If you have other drug coverage: Ask your drug plan if its creditable drug coverage.
Each year, your plan must tell you if your non-Medicare drug coverage is creditable coverage. Keep this information you may need it when youre ready to join a Medicare drug plan.
Medical Coverage When Working Past Retirement Age
It can be hard to know which medical insurance to use during the age of retirement when someone continues working. This is especially true when someone still has health insurance through a longtime employer. Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and often works with the Social Security Department. Medical coverage becomes dicey when someone works beyond the age of retirement for Social Security.
Individuals can retire when they are age 62. For each year that a person retires before their qualified age, their benefit rate will be lower, hence there are benefits to deferring retirement until someone is 70 and continues to accumulate Social Security benefits. The retirement age to qualify for Social Security is rising. For those born in 1960 or later, the retirement age is 67 for those born between 1955 and 1959, the retirement age is 66 plus 2 months for each year . Although Social Security is a financial benefit for individuals, Medicare is a health benefit. It is beneficial to enroll in Medicare before retiring and collecting Social Security, even though CMS will pick up on the lost benefit if one is not already enrolled. It can also be beneficial to apply for Medicare before retirement and use it to supplement the insurance provided by an employer. There are long-term cost saving benefits to applying as soon as the benefit is available.
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Financial Concerns In Retirement
Most Canadians wonder if they’ll have enough money to retire. The Canada Pension Plan provides a start, but for most Canadians, it isn’t enough.
Canadian retirees worry about finances even if they have a private pension or invested in an RRSP. Your concerns may grow if you have a health condition.
Even if you don’t have a health condition now, it’s likely you’ll develop one as you grow older. Canadian seniors who live with chronic illness often feel more of an economic pinch.
This is only going to get worse. The cost of Canadian healthcare has been climbing. As the population continues to age, the healthcare system has to deliver more.
What About Costs That Arent Covered
If you sign up for Original Medicare and you or your partner are still working, you can supplement its coverage with work insurance. Either way, you have the option of adding private Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap. The government has licensed some private carriers to sell Medigap, which helps cover co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance expenses under Original Medicare.
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No Individual Coverage That Could Cost You
The numbers reveal that many Canadians dont realize just how many of their health care needs in their senior years may not be covered by government health insurance plans. Over 40% of people surveyed expect to have to pay nothing for drugs in retirement.4 But in reality, the average retiree can expect to pay $5,391 a year out-of-pocket on health and dental expenses not covered by their government health insurance plans after age 65!5
Without an individual health insurance plan, the costs to cover health and dental expenses in retirement can be steep, and can erode retirement savings, or require financial support from relatives.6
Among Canadians who are clear about what expenses they will be on the hook for in their senior years, 72% feel they will not have adequate funds to cover a variety of out-of-pocket health care costs such as certain prescription medications, physiotherapy, medical equipment and more, as they age, in order to maintain good health.7
Disabilities are not uncommon as we age. Over 33% of Canadians 65 or over have a disability, and that figure climbs to 44% among those 75 and over.
And nearly 75% of Canadians over 65 have at least one health condition requiring prescription medications, medical equipment or specialized care.
Seniors take more prescription drugs per person than younger adults. Sixty-two percent of seniors use five or more prescribed medications.10
Take Advantage Of Open Enrollment
If you choose to purchase health insurance coverage through the marketplace, you may have to wait to do so until the open enrollment period. Open enrollment usually begins in November and lasts through the middle of December each year. You may be able to sign up for a plan outside of the open enrollment period if you experience a significant life event, such as moving to a different state, losing previous health insurance coverage, getting married, or having a child.
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Planning Ahead For Future Costs
After your immediate health-coverage needs are sorted out, itâs a good idea to talk with your financial advisor about ways you might prepare for your long-term health care needs, says Storey. The cost of regular health care is often dwarfed by the cost of long-term care, which can easily top six figures per year8 and isnât, for the most part, covered by Medicare. Seventy percent of Americans who are currently age 65 or older will require some type of long-term care during their lifetime9, and long-term care insurance premiums increase the older you are when you apply for coverage. If you havenât already purchased it, your financial advisor can help you determine whether long-term care insurance makes sense for you or your spouse, factoring in age, medical history and other considerations.
In addition, if you know youâre about to leave the workforceâwhether youâve decided to take early retirement or you believe a layoff is imminentâitâs a good idea to ask your doctor and your dentist whether there are any procedures they would recommend you take care of while youâre still covered by your employerâs health plan.
And, of course, it canât hurt to start exercising and eating right, if youâre not already. As Storey notes, âThe best health insurance is staying healthy.â
Cobra Or State Continuation
If Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act coverage or state continuation coverage is available to you, it might be a good alternative. This will depend on several factors, including:
- How long it will be until youre eligible for Medicare
- How much youve already spent on out-of-pocket costs for the year
- Whether youre eligible for subsidies in the marketplace/exchange
- Whether youd be able to keep your existing medical providers if you switch plans
Unless your employer offers to subsidize your COBRA coverage as part of a severance package, youll have to pay full price for your coverage while you have COBRA. This can be quite expensive, especially if youre accustomed to your employer paying a significant portion of the cost.
But if youve already met your out-of-pocket cap for the year or are in the midst of complicated medical treatment and dont want to worry about switching health plans, COBRA or state continuation can be very useful in the months after leaving your job.
If you only have a short time until youll be 65, you may find that youre able to continue your employer-sponsored plan until that point using COBRA or state continuation. Or you might find that it works well during the year you retire, with a transition the following year to a marketplace plan based on your new retired-life income.
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Im Turning 65 Soon But I Like My Current Insurance Do I Have To Enroll In Medicare Will There Be Penalties If I Dont
It depends on how you are receiving your current insurance. If you are receiving employer-sponsored health insurance through either your or your spouses job when you turn 65, you may be able to keep your insurance until you retire. You will need to contact your employers benefits representative to find out whether they will continue your coverage when you turn 65. Since Medicare Part A is premium-free for most beneficiaries, you may want to enroll in Part A as soon as you are eligible , even if you will continue to receive employer-sponsored insurance at that time. If you are covered under an employer plan, you may want to delay signing up for Part B until you retire. However, it is a good idea to check with Social Security or Medicare to confirm you will not face a penalty for late enrollment. Similarly, unless you have drug coverage that is as good as what Medicare drug plans offer, you will need to sign up for a Medicare prescription drug plan when you enroll in Medicare or you may face a late enrollment penalty.
If you decide to drop your Marketplace coverage when you become eligible for Medicare, make sure your Medicare coverage has started before you cancel your Marketplace plan so that you avoid any gaps in coverage. You can start signing up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday.
Keep Your Former Employer’s Health Insurance
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act states that when you leave your job, your employer must give you the option to keep your health coverage for up to 18 months. In certain situations, like a family member becoming disabled, you may be able to get this deadline extended.
The catch is, if you choose to accept the COBRA health insurance, you pay the entire premium, including the amount your employer had been paying on your behalf. The insurance company may even add on extra charges in administrative fees, so your once-affordable health insurance plan may no longer be affordable. Talk to your company’s HR department or your health insurance provider for information about how much it would cost to stay on your employer’s plan once you retire.
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Figure 1 Uninsured Retirees Previously Covered By Own Employers
SOURCE: Jeannette A. Rogowski and Lynn A. Karoly, “COBRA Continuation Coverage: Effect on the Health Insurance Status of Early Retirees,” Health Benefits and the Workforce, Volume 2, Department of Labor, 1998.
Among early retirees who were uninsured after retirement, the proportion previously covered by their own employers declined significantly in the post-COBRA period, from 52.1 percent to 25.6 percent . Nonetheless, more than one-fourth of uninsured retirees in the post-COBRA period had previously been covered through their own employers. Because these retirees, with the exception of those in small firms, should have been eligible through COBRA to continue their employment-based health insurance for 18 months after retirement, it is likely that they are uninsured because they could not afford the health insurance premiums.
A multivariate analysis of the loss of health insurance upon retirement confirms that COBRA does, in fact, reduce the likelihood of becoming uninsured upon early retirement. Nonetheless, a primary reason for not taking advantage of the continuation mandate is low income.
Tax Deduction For Retired Public Safety Employees
Retired or disabled public safety employees are eligible to take a tax deduction of up to $3,000 on their federal income tax return for health insurance or long term care insurance premiums.
To qualify, you must have held an eligible public safety position and reached full retirement age when you:
- Terminated IMRF participation for retirement, or
- Became totally and permanently disabled and are receiving IMRF disability benefits.
For additional details, including what positions meet the IRS definition of a public safety position, see IRS publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income, at www.irs.gov or talk with your tax advisor.
If youve determined you qualify for this deduction and want IMRF to deduct your premiums from your pension payment and pay your insurer directly, you will need to complete one of the following forms:
If you are continuing your health insurance coverage through your employer after retirement and you want to have your premium costs deducted directly from your monthly pension, complete a “Health Insurance Continuation Through Employer Premium Deduction Authorization” form and return it to your employer.
Doyle Rowe LTD provides a full range of health plan counseling and administrative services to more than 250,000 active and retired members of IMRF.
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