Medicare Part B is your doctor or medical coverage. Medicare Part B in 2013 currently carries a premium amount of $99.90 per month. You become eligible for Medicare Part B at the same time you become eligible for Medicare Part A. Eligibility to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B begin three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and three months after your 65th birthday. There are typically penalties involved if you opt out of (or decline) Medicare Part B when you are initially eligible for coverage, except if you have other credible health care coverage.

An example of credible coverage is if you are enrolled in an employer or union health coverage plan. If you or your spouse continues to work beyond your 65th birthday and you remain on an employer group plan, then Medicare Part B is not necessary as long as your employer group or union health coverage plan is credible. However, you should discuss with you group benefits administrator how Medicare Part B will work with your employer or union group coverage plan. It may be to your advantage to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. Additionally, penalties for opting out of Medicare Part B do not apply until the group or union health plan coverage plan or is no longer considered creditable medical coverage.

Should I keep my group retiree plan or get private insurance like a Medicare Supplement?

Today many employers are shifting a portion the cost of the retirement health plan to the retiree. This amount can be extremely high compared to your other options. We suggest that you compare your retirement health plan to a Medicare Supplement. The cost of the group plan could be more than ytinou would pay on an individual Medicare Supplement. We have save many clients hundreds of dollars a month by matching them with a personal Medicare Supplement instead of continuing on their group plan. A Medicare Pathways’ agent can do a comparison for you so you can decide what action you want to take. Our highly trained and licensed Benefit Specialist will review your options and make a recommendation. If your cost would be lower to stay on your group plan they will recommend for you to stay on your current plan. If your cost would be lower on a private plan they will recommend you come off the group and enroll in private insurance, like a Medicare Supplement. The decision is ultimately yours to make. To get a comparison call 1-866-466-9118 or click here to request a quote.

How does Medicare Part B works with a group retiree health plan?

If the employer or union group coverage will terminate, or if the coverage becomes not credible coverage, you will be notified by the employer. You will have 63 days after the date your employer or union group coverage plan ends to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty. Additionally, you will be given the same 63 days to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty if the employer advises you that their plan is no longer considered credible medical coverage. If you have chosen to remain on your spouse’s group or union medical coverage plan, the same is true regarding Medicare Part B.

Many employers and unions allow you or your spouse to remain on their health coverage plan after you retire as part of your retirement benefits. This is known as retiree health care coverage and is not considered current group coverage. If you begin receiving retiree health coverage benefits you may want to consider enroll in Medicare Part B.

You do not have to opt out of Medicare Part B even if you have credible employer or union health coverage. You should compare the benefits of both and make a knowledgeable decision about which plan offers the most appropriate and most affordable coverage. When making this decision it is recommended that you not only compare premiums, but also cost-sharing required by the employer or union group coverage health care plan. Cost-sharing is the portion of the medical expenses that you will be responsible for, such as deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. You can enroll in Medicare Part B at any time you have credible health coverage, without penalty. You can obtain information regarding Medicare Part B benefits by visiting Medicare’s website, by calling the Social Security Administration, or by visiting your location Social Security Administration office.


Medicare Pathways, Inc    1-866-466-9118