Wednesday January 22, 2020

What to Do About Medicare If You Are Still Working in 2019

If you do plan to work after you reach retirement age, here’s what you should know about your Medicare coverage.

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If you don’t have Medicare, your group plan isn’t obligated to pay anything toward your medical expenses.

These days, more seniors are continuing to work well past 65, the age of Medicare eligibility. With longer life expectancies and jobs that are less physically demanding today, you might even be planning to work well in your 70’s. If you do plan to work after you reach retirement age, here’s what you should know about your Medicare coverage.

Do I have to sign up for Medicare?

The answer depends on the size of your employer. There are laws in place prohibiting larger employers (those with at least 20 employees) from offering older employees different health benefits than those they offer everyone else. In other words, it’s your choice, not your employer’s, whether to continue with your employer coverage or enroll in Medicare.

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There are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure. Flickr

If you work for a small employer with fewer than 20 employees, the employer decides whether to discontinue your group health coverage once you become eligible for Medicare. If your company’s policy is to make Medicare the primary insurer for employees age 65 and over, you must enroll in both parts of Original Medicare or face several unpleasant and costly consequences.

First, even if your employer allows you to stay on the group health plan after age 65, your group plan becomes the secondary insurer. That means that it will only pay after Medicare, the primary insurer, pays its share. If you don’t have Medicare, your group plan isn’t obligated to pay anything toward your medical expenses.

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These days, more seniors are continuing to work well past 65, the age of Medicare eligibility.

Second, if you don’t enroll in Medicare, and your group plan is secondary, you technically do not have health insurance for purposes of Medicare’s late enrollment penalty. In other words, when you do enroll in Medicare, you’ll pay a penalty based on the number of months you went without insurance coverage when you could have enrolled in Medicare—and you’ll pay that penalty for as long as you have coverage.

If you work for a larger employer and you have the choice between Medicare and your group plan, it’s a good idea to compare premiums, deductibles, and coverage, and determine which option makes most sense financially. Most people, however, do decide to keep their Part A as soon as they become eligible, since most people qualify for premium-free Part A.

What about Part D coverage for prescription drugs?

Although Part D is considered optional, the law requires you to have “creditable” prescription drug coverage if you choose to forgo Part D. If you don’t, and you go without prescription drug coverage for 63 or more consecutive days, you’ll pay a late enrollment penalty with your Part D premium.

Medicare
It’s your choice, not your employer’s, whether to continue with your employer coverage or enroll in Medicare.

Most employer plans have coverage that is equal to or better than Part D, which is considered “creditable” for purposes of the law. Your insurance company is required to send you a letter letting you know whether your coverage satisfies Medicare’s requirements. If it doesn’t, you should enroll in Part D as soon as you become eligible. If it does, be sure to keep proof of creditable coverage in a safe place in case you are hit with a late enrollment penalty when you do enroll.

Also Read- President Ram Nath Kovind Urges To Achieve The Perfect Balance For Public Health

What if I want a Medicare Supplement Plan?

If you do delay Medicare enrollment because you are still working after age 65, you will still have guaranteed issue rights for Medigap when your employer coverage ends.

Note that if you use COBRA to continue your employer coverage after you leave your job, it does not count as insurance coverage from active employment for the purposes of avoiding late enrollment penalties with Medicare. COBRA also doesn’t protect your guaranteed issue rights for Medigap. Your open enrollment period for Medigap begins on the date you leave your employment or the date that your employer coverage ends.

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India Registers an Uptick in Diabetes and Thyroid: Report

Uptick in diabetes, thyroid in India in 2019

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India registered an increase in lifestyle diseases including diabetes and thyroid. Pixabay

As India registered an increase in lifestyle diseases including diabetes and thyroid, a new report suggests that women are unhealthier than men, and Chandigarh is the healthiest city while Kolkata unhealthiest city for the second year in a row. This is the latest health news.

As per the GOQii India Fit Report 2020, diabetes has increased from 7.1 to 12 per cent this year.

“The incidence of diabetes is highest among older adults at 23.81 per cent and seniors at 36.82 per cent. As per the report, 13.5 per cent of Indians have cholesterol issues.

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Diabetes has increased from 7.1 to 12 per cent this year. Pixabay

“Currently 36 per cent of the people who have high cholesterol have heart issues too while 51.7 per cent of the people who have diabetes have abnormal cholesterol too. This past year, thyroid issues have increased from 6.8 to 10.7 per cent. The report also suggests that 13.4 per cent of the people in India have high blood pressure,” GOQii, a smart-tech enabled preventive healthcare platform, said.

As per the report, 27 per cent of India has acidity and indigestion issues.

Speaking city-wise, 18 per cent people in Kolkata are diabetic followed by Surat and Bhopal. Kolkata also has the largest aging population in the country, the most people with acidity, and the highest incidence of lifestyle diseases, while Bhopal has the highest percentage of people who consume alcohol.

The report has collected data from a cross-section of 5 million GOQii app users across 16 cities.

Interestingly, it also took the study of longevity under its ambit, and reveals what some of India’s oldest people attribute their longevity to.

Turns out, the secret to a long life is – eating nutritious food, staying active, socializing and sound sleep. These attributes were the common contributing factors for leading a long and healthy life according to 90-year olds and centenarians.

Also Read- Prenatal Smoking, Drinking Increases SIDS Risk; Says New Study

The elderly people also believed that eating home-cooked and fresh, local and seasonal vegetarian meals at fixed and regular intervals played an important role in their day-to-day regimen. Dairy, especially milk, curd and ghee emerged as kitchen superheroes for this age group.

The centurions also believed that having a hobby, being social and content enhanced the quality of their lives. (IANS)