Many workers who have reached traditional retirement age plan to work longer to maintain employer-sponsored health care coverage. according to Allsup last scan, 54% of eligible Medicare workers report that maintaining their Medicare coverage is an essential or contributory factor to continuing to work. However, Medicare can be a viable and attractive alternative for seniors, even if they are planning to delay their retirement. For some, switching to Medicare can reduce their health care costs while maintaining necessary benefits, making it beneficial for all employees and employers.
As older workers weigh their options, it’s a good idea to provide larger employers with the right information to guide their employees who are considering changes to health care—particularly during a fast approach. Medicare annual enrollment period (AEP), October 15 – December 7.
The Allsup survey also found that a third of those aged 62-64 who plan to continue working after age 65 did not understand that they could sign up for Medicare coverage even while working, and more than a third reported an interest in reading printed Medicare materials and speaking to a benefits manager. At the current employer.
Efforts to learn more can be of great value to these workers. Those approaching retirement age can do so Sign up for Medicare Affordable, and current Medicare beneficiaries’ feedback says a lot. About 76% of Medicare enrollees say their monthly premium is lower with Medicare than with their employer insurance, and 79% say access to quality of care is the same or better with Medicare as it is with their employer plan. Despite this, there is still some hesitation about Medicare sign-ups, with 28% believing that Medicare coverage will not be as good as current insurance.
In truth, Medicare options can actually provide better coverage at a lower cost to your employees, but there are a few strategies to note when advising on choosing a plan. If original Medicare was not accompanied by a prescription plan or Medigap supplement, it may not live up to your current level of coverage. That’s why most Medicare-enrolled individuals have other coverage: 9 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries receive some form of supplemental health insurance including Medigap, employer-sponsored insurance, or Medicaid; Or choose a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan instead of the original Medicare program.
Health care decisions at age 65
As workers advance access to Medicare at age 65, they reach a tipping point in their health care benefits priorities. While the cost of the premium is usually significant when shopping for health insurance plans, personal costs may not be a big factor in health care decisions as workers get older. The cost of premiums comes into importance as workers approach Medicare eligibility. While 71% of workers aged 62 to 64 rated this as the most important factor, that number drops to 63% for workers aged 65 and over. At the same time, the importance of universal coverage is increasing, jumping from 47% (from 62 to 64 years old) to 57% (over 65 years old). Benefits managers should be prepared to advise on this evolution in health care preferences depending on your employees’ care needs and financial goals.
If your employee chooses Medicare, pairing the original Medicare plan with the Part D prescription drug plan and Medigap plan is highly recommended. Each Medigap plan, from Plan A to Plan N, offers a different level of coverage. This means that he or she will carefully consider the plan that best suits your employee’s health needs and financial situation. a Medigap . plan It costs an average of $163 per month depending on the policy and the state in which the beneficiary resides. Medigap Plan G is the most comprehensive plan now in terms of coverage and cost-effectiveness, with the Part B deductible being the only out-of-pocket expense after premium costs.
Apart from the original Medicare plan in addition to the Medigap plan, the beneficiary also has the option to choose a file Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage may be the most attractive option if a beneficiary wants to combine their costs and coverage, as a private Medicare Advantage plan includes Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B benefits. For 2023, the estimated cost of a Medicare Advantage plan is expected to be $18 a monthVarious plans offer coverage for dental, hearing, vision, and prescription medications. Another 2.3 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage during the year of coverage for 2022 45% For all Medicare enrollees.
In the long run, having this knowledge and offering guidance as your employees navigate the process can relieve stress. It may also be the most financially beneficial option for you and your employee, regardless of their reasons for remaining in the workforce. There are many people 65 years of age or older who choose to work longer for reasons outside of financial security. In fact, nearly 57% of Allsup participants over the age of 65 expressed enthusiasm for remaining in the workforce.
Many of those who have looked at retirement during the pandemic lockdowns have realized that is not the case for them, and they want to stay in the game longer. Staying in the workforce allows seniors to continue to make an impact in their field and gives them an overall sense of social connectedness. As they maintain their careers and look to boost their retirement savings in the process, it’s important to arm your employees with cost-effective health coverage guidelines—whether they’re trying to transition smoothly into retirement or intend to stay in the workforce for years to come.
Bethany Cecil He specializes in health insurance services in Allup.
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