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Old 02-15-2015, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,830 posts, read 4,944,472 times
Reputation: 17289

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I'm in an unusual position. I love my job and I'm paid very well to play with electronics. I really don't want to retire because I can't stand the thought of sitting home. My work has always been my hobby so I'm essentially retired already but I get payed to play.

So when I turn 66 I plan to take and then suspend SS so my wife can begin to draw SS at a rate of one half my (max) age 66 benefit. I won't take SS until age 70. She gets no bigger benefit by waiting.

So my question: When she starts to draw SS, does that force her to sign up for Medicare? I have a high deductible health insurance plan with an HSA. I know that if you are on Medicare you cannot contribute to an HSA. I would not be on Medicare but this might force her into Medicare.

So I'm perplexed. Will this fact make it an either/or choice? Either she draws SS/Medicare or she does not go on SS and I can continue to contribute to a HSA?
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:56 PM
 
4,571 posts, read 7,053,444 times
Reputation: 4217
When a person turns 65, they would enroll in Medicare Part A (at a minimum) which covers hospitalization at no cost to you. Your employer health insurance will generally require that you enroll because it relieves them of some of the burden of paying for your care. I didn't enroll in Part B (which costs $104 a month and is generally taken out of your SS payment) at that time. So, in order of things, I enrolled in Medicare Part A when I turned 65, enrolled in SS when I turned 66 (FRA) and enrolled in Part B when I got a lot closer to my retirement date as I was still covered by my employer health insurance. If you don't enroll in Medicare at 65, there is some sort of penalty the longer you wait, but I don't recall exactly what it is. I would suggest calling Medicare, they are very helpful about explaining all of this.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,128 posts, read 12,373,396 times
Reputation: 13936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
I'm in an unusual position. I love my job and I'm paid very well to play with electronics. I really don't want to retire because I can't stand the thought of sitting home. My work has always been my hobby so I'm essentially retired already but I get payed to play.

So when I turn 66 I plan to take and then suspend SS so my wife can begin to draw SS at a rate of one half my (max) age 66 benefit. I won't take SS until age 70. She gets no bigger benefit by waiting.

So my question: When she starts to draw SS, does that force her to sign up for Medicare? I have a high deductible health insurance plan with an HSA. I know that if you are on Medicare you cannot contribute to an HSA. I would not be on Medicare but this might force her into Medicare.

So I'm perplexed. Will this fact make it an either/or choice? Either she draws SS/Medicare or she does not go on SS and I can continue to contribute to a HSA?
You and I are on the same wavelength but I will be 67 on my next birthday and shortly after that I will file and suspend so my wife can receive 50% of my FRA benefit. I plan to work to 70 and possibly longer because, for most of the time anyway, I really like my job. Yeah, there is that 5% that it sucks but doesn't everyone have to deal with that at times?

Anyway, I've been on Medicare since turning 65 and I love it, absolutely the best health insurance I have ever had. You talk about high deductible plans and health savings accounts but with Medicare you can enjoy a no deductable plan with NOTHING (as in $0.00) ever out of pocket.

In a year and a half now I have not had a single penny leave my pocket to pay for any doctor visit or hospital procedure.

Last year I had Plan F supplement but this year I am going to go with Plan G to save money. Here is how it works.

You will have to pay $104.90 monthly to Medicare and what happens is you will receive a Medicare card that ends in the letter T which means you are still working. Your number will look like this:

123-45-6789T

Of course your social security number.

As long as you are not collecting social security benefits Medicare will bill you around the 10th of every third month for three months Medicare Part B premiums which comes out to $314.70.

You will also need a Medicare supplement and the good thing here is shopping for one is as easy as it gets. Doesn't matter what company a "Plan F" is exactly identical in every respect to every other company that offers a "Plan F". Same with "Plan G" which the Plan G offered by Humana will be EXACTLY identical to the Plan G offered by Aetna or any other supplement providers.

I started with Plan F but now I am on Plan G. The only difference between the two is with the Plan G I now have a $147 annual deductible whereas with a Plan F I didn't have any.

I chose the Plan G because I KNOW it will be cheaper.

Here are my rates for the different supplement plans



For Plan G I am paying $136.48/month where for a Plan F I would have paid $157.04. I save $20.56 monthly for $246.72 annually by having the Plan G. Even if I do pay the $147 deductible, which I am sure I will as I do have some issues, I'm still $99.72 ahead for the year.

The plans are all IDENTICAL but here's Humana's Medicare Supplement Plans F and G.

Quote:
Protection against high out-of-pocket costs

Plans F and G are the only Medicare Supplement insurance plans that cover costs known as Medicare Part B excess charges. An excess charge is the difference between what a doctor or provider charges and the amount Medicare will pay. These plans will help protect you from additional out-of-pocket expenses should you need treatment that exceeds what Medicare will approve. Plan F also has a high-deductible option*. Plan G covers a percentage of Medicare Part B excess charges.
Also out of country insurance... $50,000 and not a whole lot but hopefully enough to get you home should something happen on cruise to Panama. Panama, I want to go through the canal.

So now I pay the $147 and that's it for the year.

Also, I might be wrong but I think if you don't sign up right away there's a penalty down the road when you do and I wouldn't be the least surprised if your insurance carrier kicks you off the rolls as well.

So I pay $104.90+$136.48+$28.00 (Part D drugs) for a total of $269.38 and other than the $147 annual deductible I'm done for the year. I can't see where I could use a health savings account.... oh, and I do carry dental insurance as well so I am mostly covered there too.

Last edited by nicet4; 02-15-2015 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Chesapeake Bay
6,048 posts, read 3,868,534 times
Reputation: 3502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
I'm in an unusual position. I love my job and I'm paid very well to play with electronics. I really don't want to retire because I can't stand the thought of sitting home. My work has always been my hobby so I'm essentially retired already but I get payed to play.

So when I turn 66 I plan to take and then suspend SS so my wife can begin to draw SS at a rate of one half my (max) age 66 benefit. I won't take SS until age 70. She gets no bigger benefit by waiting.

So my question: When she starts to draw SS, does that force her to sign up for Medicare? I have a high deductible health insurance plan with an HSA. I know that if you are on Medicare you cannot contribute to an HSA. I would not be on Medicare but this might force her into Medicare.

So I'm perplexed. Will this fact make it an either/or choice? Either she draws SS/Medicare or she does not go on SS and I can continue to contribute to a HSA?
You know, you really should check with your employer on this just to be on the safe side. It could be that the health insurance that they offer you has a provision in it that your current health insurance becomes secondary to Medicare once you become eligible for it. Or something equivalent.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,128 posts, read 12,373,396 times
Reputation: 13936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weichert View Post
You know, you really should check with your employer on this just to be on the safe side. It could be that the health insurance that they offer you has a provision in it that your current health insurance becomes secondary to Medicare once you become eligible for it. Or something equivalent.
Absolutely.

My wife is going with a Humana Advantage plan because she retired from state government and as a retirement benefit she gets the avantage plan free fro the rest of her life. That PLUS she is reimbursed for her Medicare Part B so the way it is coming down for her is free healthcare for as long as she lives. Can't beat that.

So far we really like the advantage plan, it has all the bells and whistles and with the Silver Sneakers to boot! We go to Anytime Fitness and her Advantage Plan pays 100% for her membership! She gets in free and I gotta pay.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:52 AM
 
118 posts, read 104,618 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
So my question: When she starts to draw SS, does that force her to sign up for Medicare?
No, she does not have to sign up for Medicare. It will not affect her monthly benefits.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,767 posts, read 4,825,615 times
Reputation: 19387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weichert View Post
You know, you really should check with your employer on this just to be on the safe side. It could be that the health insurance that they offer you has a provision in it that your current health insurance becomes secondary to Medicare once you become eligible for it. Or something equivalent.
^^^ Most employee insurance benefits REQUIRE you to sign up for Medicare when you are eligible. It saves the employer money, so not signing up will probably not be an option. You are supposed to sign up 3 months before your 65th birthday. Since dependents are covered under your plan, they probably will require her to sign up or drop her from your insurance when she turns 65.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:27 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,924 posts, read 986,927 times
Reputation: 6929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bureaucratic View Post
No, she does not have to sign up for Medicare. It will not affect her monthly benefits.
you don't have to sign up for Medicare, but you do need to let SS know that you don't want it
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:43 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,743 posts, read 7,022,649 times
Reputation: 14219
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
^^^ Most employee insurance benefits REQUIRE you to sign up for Medicare when you are eligible. It saves the employer money, so not signing up will probably not be an option. You are supposed to sign up 3 months before your 65th birthday. Since dependents are covered under your plan, they probably will require her to sign up or drop her from your insurance when she turns 65.
That was the case with the federal employees' Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance (family coverage) my husband had for years. We were notified that while it was optional that we sign up for Medicare (Part A and B) when we each turned 65, this insurance would only pay as a secondary plan for each of us once we became eligible for Medicare.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:02 PM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,221,383 times
Reputation: 3330
I thought that technically, no you don't HAVE to sign up for Medicare...but that you are penalized if you DO NOT. Penalized in the form of HIGHER premiums should you eventually sign up. So it's cheaper to sign up even if you don't want to.

Now if a person NEVER signs up I don't know what the consequences might be. Maybe there aren't any, who knows. I don't think a billionaire would need to worry about what ever the penalty might be. But for MOST of us, I'd think we'd want to research that.
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