Medicare and Group Health Coverage

The question comes up with some regularity and is often some version of this: “I’m turning 65 soon, should I drop my group health plan or not?” Here are a few things to consider.
The first variable to consider is the size of your employer. If there are 20 or more employees, than the group health insurance plan will be the primary payor of your health claims, with Medicare a secondary payor (paying what the group plan does not). If there are fewer than 20 employees, this is reversed, so Medicare becomes primary and the group plan secondary.
Regarding cost, it will most likely be cheaper for you to be on Medicare instead of the group plan. You’ll be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) automatically. Medicare Part B (doctors, office visits, etc.) is typically around $105/month. A typical part D prescription drug plan is usually in the $50/month price range. If you choose to drop your other coverage, you’ll want to pick up a Medicare Supplement plan. The most thorough and comprehensive of these is “Plan F.” The price will vary state to state and vary by age, but in South Carolina you can get Plan F with Blue Cross Blue Shield for around $125/month at age 65. So you’re at around $280/month, give or take.
My guess is that $280 is cheaper than what you’ve been paying for group health coverage if you work for a small employer. If you have an individual health insurance plan, you will have to move into Medicare coverage as the individual plan only covers you up until age 65.
If you have questions and would like to have us help you walk through the issue with you, considering your circumstances and needs, just contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help.