Ikey Fowler

We meet weekly with individuals who are currently working but becoming eligible for Medicare. Their dilemma is often whether to stay on their employer coverage past the age of 65 or go on Medicare. 

Here are a few things to think about. For those of you who are married you will want to know how it will affect your spouse if you leave employer coverage. If your spouse is not old enough for Medicare it may affect your decision differently than someone whose spouse is also Medicare eligible. If your spouse is also Medicare eligible you will want to know what your exact premium will be for you and your spouse together and separately. If that cost is high you may benefit by looking at a Medicare plan outside the company.

One important factor is the prescription drugs, if any, that you are taking. Often employer coverage will cover expensive prescription drugs better than Medicare. Also, employer coverage does not have the “donut hole” or coverage gap that Medicare drug plans have.

How Medicare works and how it coordinates with other Medicare plans can be very confusing. Some companies require their employees to go through a third-party call center to obtain their Medicare health plan. The biggest disadvantage with going through a call center outside of the area is you lose the ability to have a local agent explain your coverage face-to-face and that can go to the insurance company on your behalf if you have a problem.

In most cases it’s best to stay on your employer sponsored plan. I would never encourage anyone to leave their employer coverage but the decision to do so is an individual one. What’s best for your former coworker may not be what’s best for you. Feel free to contact our office anytime if we can be of assistance.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at ikey@alabamahealthguidance.com.

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.