|by Cheryl McCarthy
The transition from group health benefits to Medicare is important but confusing. Currently, Medicare and Social Security are involved in determining what individuals will pay toward the cost of their Part B coverage. This confuses individuals not only on what they are told but on the timing on when information is sent to them. Nationally, more than 750,000 members are paying late enrollment penalties (LEP) and these penalties remain in place for as long as they are paying for Part B. As Medicare health plan advisors, we can help prevent costly enrollment mistakes when we facilitate a smooth transition into Medicare. It’s time to get educated!
Many eligible members continue to work into their Medicare years until they are eligible for full Social Security benefits, currently at age 66. For this reason, group health advisors have the advantage of being the first respected and relevant influencer for a smooth transition to Medicare.
We can help our clients make an informed decision about when to enroll in Medicare. Knowing when a member can and should enroll in Medicare A and B is just as significant as knowing when a member can and should enroll in an individual Medicare benefit as a stand-alone product. It is equally important to understand the Medicare Secondary Payer Laws. Who pays first — Medicare or the employer group health plan? There are many ways that we can facilitate a smooth transition into Medicare.
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