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Old 08-10-2016, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Understanding that nobody can tell me what to do, I'd still like to ask for opinions.

I turn 65 next week, but since I'm still full-time employed, I will remain on one of my employer's medical insurance plan. I will be retiring March 7, 2017, when I will be 65 and 1/2 years old, and at that time will go onto Medicare insurance, (with an employer subsidy to help pay for an Advantage/Supplement plan).

Assuming that the monthly cost of Medicare will increase at the beginning of 2017 and due to the 'hold harmless' clause, the increase will be borne by new enrolees, that means my monthly Medicare cost starting April 1st will be somewhere between $20-$50 more than what current Medicare enrolees pay.

Would it be financially worth it to enroll in Medicare before the end of this year to "lock in" the current rate and not have to pay the increased rate, (I'm assuming that there will be one)? I suspect it is a worthwhile move. I'll just have to pay three months of duplicate medical coverage, and the good Lord willing, expect to live for 20-30 or so years in retirement.


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Old 08-10-2016, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Would it be financially worth it to enroll in Medicare before the end of this year to "lock in" the current rate and not have to pay the increased rate, (I'm assuming that there will be one)? I suspect it is a worthwhile move. I'll just have to pay three months of duplicate medical coverage, and the good Lord willing, expect to live for 20-30 or so years in retirement.
You won't lock in the rate unless you are also collecting SS and having the Part B deducted from your SS benefit at the same time:

Quote:
If you collect Social Security benefits and your Medicare Part B premium is deducted from those benefits each month (this is the case for the majority of people with Medicare), you may be protected under the hold harmless provision.

Increases in Part B premiums & the hold harmless provision - Medicare Interactive
From Medicare:
Quote:
You'll pay a different premium amount if:
  • You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2016.
  • You don't get Social Security benefits.
  • You're directly billed for your Part B premiums.
https://www.medicare.gov/your-medica...t-b-costs.html
So, unless you are willing to collect SS early, you won't be able to avoid a possible increase - should there be one.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Rats! I wasn't planning on receiving SS benefits for a couple of years. Thanks for the quick response. Much appreciated, helps with retirement budgeting.


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Old 08-10-2016, 02:17 PM
 
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Absolutely. Yes, your premium will be whatever it is at the time unless you sign up before to have Medicare collected from SS. Husband and I are same age. He was still working so declined Medicare. When he retired in March at 67, and signed up for Medicare he had to pay an addition $50/month due to the premium increase in 2016. I signed up for Medicare at 65 and when I became eligible for full SS at 66 last year, had Medicare premium take out my from my SS. My rates did not go up in 2016 due to the Hold Harmless Clause, but husband's did because Medicare was not being taken out of his SS.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:55 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
You won't lock in the rate unless you are also collecting SS and having the Part B deducted from your SS benefit at the same time
Is it locked in when you apply or when the benefits start?

My family member will reach FRA age 66 in mid-Jan 2017 (already getting Medicare)
So, they will apply for Social Security retirement in late 2016 to start in Jan 2017

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Old 08-10-2016, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Is it locked in when you apply or when the benefits start?

My family member will reach FRA age 66 in mid-Jan 2017 (already getting Medicare)
So, they will apply for Social Security retirement in late 2016 to start in Jan 2017
It's locked in when benefits start.

If this is correct:
Quote:
  1. The Medicare Part B premium will be or was deducted from your Social Security benefits in November 2015 through January 2016;
http://www.medicareinteractive.org/g...less-provision
January may be OK. Just be sure the Part B premium is deducted from the benefit paid in January - which essentially is the December benefit, as SS is paid in arrears. I would absolutely verify with SS/Medicare, or begin benefits one month early just to be safe. If he reaches FRA in January, technically, since SS is paid in arrears, his first benefit should begin in February, which is definitely too late for a "lock" on the Medicare premium.

Suggest this family member visit an SS office and get it directly from the horse's mouth.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
It's locked in when benefits start.

If this is correct:January may be OK. Just be sure the Part B premium is deducted from the benefit paid in January - which essentially is the December benefit, as SS is paid in arrears. I would absolutely verify with SS/Medicare, or begin benefits one month early just to be safe. If he reaches FRA in January, technically, since SS is paid in arrears, his first benefit should begin in February, which is definitely too late for a "lock" on the Medicare premium.

Suggest this family member visit an SS office and get it directly from the horse's mouth.
Your link states that Medicare Part B premiums must be deducted from the SS checks November through January.

Am I missing something?
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Your link states that Medicare Part B premiums must be deducted from the SS checks November through January.

Am I missing something?
Not sure what you're asking. January payment is for the December benefit.

Quote:
Since SSA pays individuals a month behind, the person will receive the June benefit in the month of July. If you would like to receive your first check the first month you are eligible, you will need to apply three months before your birthday.

http://www.aarp.org/work/social-secu...rst-check.html
Nightlysparrow's family member needs to enroll in SS benefits with payments to begin in January, so that his first check (for December benefit) is paid in January and Part B premium is deducted from the January payment (for December). Last year when there was a lot of discussion on this issue, the December deadline ruled.

All that said - it would be wise to double check the timeframe with SS.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 08-10-2016 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:27 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
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Ariadne22, thank you!
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,214,395 times
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Here's what I'm reading.

The claimant must be eligible for a November benefit and receive that benefit (with the deduction for his Medicare premium) by the end of the year, i.e. December 2016. That is why a beneficiary needs to apply for the benefits with November as the initial month of entitlement. (Obviously, the claimant would also need to continue his benefit through January.)

Here's an interesting example where a claimant had suspended her SS benefit and was paying her Medicare premiums via billing. In order to be held harmless, she needed to lift the suspension for the months of November and December and have her Medicare premium deducted from both the Dec and Jan checks before she could be held harmless.

https://faq.ssa.gov/ics/support/KBAn...+25&docID=4651

Here's an unofficial link with a better explanation.

http://content.rwbaird.com/RWB/Conte...-Provision.pdf

Last edited by lenora; 08-10-2016 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: additional link
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