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Planning for retirement? We can help.
At SelectQuote, we can help you navigate Medicare and your needs come retirement. There’s no obligation to enroll.
Retirement and Medicare
If you’re approaching those golden years of retirement, it’s a good time to learn more about your healthcare coverage options. Health can be one of the biggest expenses you’ll have to face during your senior years, so it’s important to understand what Medicare covers, what Medicare costs and how you will budget for these expenses.
Basic Medicare—also known as Original Medicare—includes Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Part A (hospital insurance) is premium-free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for a certain amount of time while working. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) requires a monthly premium from everyone who signs up for it. In 2020, the standard premium is $144.60, but your premium cost could be higher if your income exceeds a certain amount.
With Original Medicare, only 80% of your healthcare costs are covered. Many individuals choose to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan to help cover the cost of copays, deductibles and coinsurance. Another option to consider is a Medicare Advantage plan, which replaces Original Medicare. Offered by private health insurance companies that are approved by Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans—also called Medicare Part C—are legally required to offer at least the same benefits that are provided by Original Medicare, but can include additional coverage such as routine vision, dental benefits, prescription drugs or health wellness programs.
Preparing for Medicare Before Retirement
Before you move into retirement, there are several important things to consider to ensure you’ll receive coverage for your medical needs.
Gather Personal Health Info
As you sign up for Medicare coverage, it will be important for you to jot down the details of your current insurance plan, healthcare provider contact information, list of prescription medications and any previous or existing health conditions. We offer a checklist to help you gather this information in one place.
Identify Your Eligibility to Enroll
Most people turning age 65 are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the first day of their birthday month. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you may not be automatically enrolled and will need to do that during your Initial Enrollment Period. There are multiple enrollment periods associated with Medicare that you should understand.
Ensure Your Doctor(s) Accept Medicare
Contact your current doctor(s) to ask whether they accept Medicare. If they do not accept Medicare, you may want to consider finding a new doctor.
Learn the Basics of Medicare
It is important to have a basic understanding of the different parts of Medicare as well as understanding Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans.
- Part A covers hospital expenses
- Part B covers doctor’s office visits
- Part C replaces Part A and Part B and is also called Medicare Advantage
- Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs
Plan to work past 65? Understand your current coverage.
If you’re actively working and want to keep your group health plan, you may be able to delay enrolling in Original Medicare Part A and Part B without having to pay a penalty when enrolling later.
Key Considerations That Can Affect Healthcare Costs
A chronic condition will likely add additional expenses. It’s important to weigh your particular health circumstances and potential future health risks as you consider how to manage your healthcare costs in retirement.
If you enroll in Medicare and still work, you might find yourself paying an income-related monthly adjustment amount surcharge, known as IRMAA, in addition to your regular monthly Medicare Part B premium and Part D premium.
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA)
If you’re still working and your employer offers an HSA option, look into it. The funds you contribute are tax deductible or pre-tax deductible and are tax-free if you withdraw money to use toward medical expenses. Most beneficial, once you retire, your HSA funds can still be used to help pay your healthcare costs tax-free.
Which Plan You Choose
Be sure to consider your Medicare options carefully and seek advice from a licensed sales agent. While lower premiums can be attractive, you may end up canceling out your savings from paying high deductibles and coinsurance. Make sure you understand what expenses you will be responsible for paying.
If You’re Still Employed
If you’re still working and your company has more than 20 employees, you may choose to keep your group health coverage if it’s more cost effective, but you may find that enrolling at least in Medicare Part A can be advantageous.
Where You Live
Keep in mind that while Original Medicare Part A and Part B premiums are standardized, the cost of healthcare (doctors, hospitalization, prescriptions, etc.) can vary based on where you live.
Let SelectQuote Help
When you’re planning for healthcare costs in your retirement budget, make sure you’re informed, realistic and prepared. We can help you better understand the ins and outs of Medicare and in just minutes, will compare all the options available to you. Some Medicare plans have $0/mo. Premiums and may also include dental, vision and prescription drug coverage! Don’t wait to ensure you’re getting all the benefits you deserve—get started today. The service is free and there’s no obligation to enroll.