We get jobs reports weekly, usually on Thursdays. Those reports tell us how the job market was doing, what employment, and more importantly unemployment, levels were and a glimpse into what to expect for the future.
With the global pandemic, these reports don’t look very promising. So far, over 30 million Americans that we know of have lost their jobs. I suspect that there’s even more that we don’t know about.
For those of us of advanced age losing or changing jobs offers some unique challenges. Do we want to transition to another job or company? Or can we and do we want to retire. One of the major concerns, outside of whether we can afford to retire or not, is health insurance.
Your old employer may offer you COBRA coverage. More often than not this requires that you pay the full premium for coverage, a quite expensive proposition and only good for a limited amount of time. However, you may be eligible to get coverage through the Healthcare marketplace through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you lost your coverage, and need insurance, that may be the way to go. You can get more information on COBRA and SEPs here.
If you start a new job, and they offer Health Insurance, Medicare may work with your new group health coverage. In those cases, employer coverage will act as a Part B and Part D and cover those costs that Medicare Part A doesn’t cover. Be sure to check with the Benefits advisor at your new company to see how you can help them save on your coverage.
However, if you don’t get a job or your new employer doesn’t offer coverage and you’re over 65, getting coverage is easy and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. However, if you don’t qualify for Medicare insurance can be very expensive.
If you’re 64 and aging into Medicare or 65 and qualify for Medicare, you have other decisions to make. If you’re aging in your decision is based on how long you need non-Medicare coverage for. If it’s only a few months, COBRA may be worth it, or if you qualify, maybe a Marketplace plan is the way to go. Regardless, know that you can sign up for your Medicare coverage 3 months prior to the month in which your 65th birthday falls. So, if you turn 65 in September, you can apply for your coverage in June, and that coverage will start on September 1st.
If you’re already 65 and your employer covered your Medicare Part B you need to enroll in Part B now to avoid a penalty. Your monthly Part B premium will go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Medicare Part B but did not take it. You can find all the details on the Part B penalty here. Once you’re enrolled in both Part A & Part B, we can work with you and get you set up with a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan to cover the Part B deductibles.
Regardless of which category you fall in, you need to work with a licensed agent to find the right plan and strategy. Let me answer your questions and work with you to get best coverage for your specific needs.