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Re: Domestic Partner - When to sign up for Medicare Part B and effect on Medigap eligibility?

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Thanks for the response. 

 

We're not so concerned about the late enrollment penalty for Part B, as that really is not such a large amount, given that I'll probably retire in about 4 years or less.

 

But the prospect of being "shut out" of a medigap policy in the future due to a pre-existing condition is worrisome.  I'm going to make some more calls to try to get a definitive answer if that will be the case.

 

I suppose the alternative would be sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan in future years, as I believe there is no requirement to sign up for an Advantage plan when you turn 65... and insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions with an Advantage Plan.

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Re: Domestic Partner - When to sign up for Medicare Part B and effect on Medigap eligibility?

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This should answer your question -

AARP - Medicare Eligibility and Domestic Partnership

 

Both Social Security and Medicare base relationship status for benefits on the state where the arrangement founded.  If the couple moved to New York from another state where it was recognized, New York would recognize the relationship if it had been sanctioned under the other state based on the other state's criteria.  But if it was only under New York law from its beginning until now, you are right, New York, since 1933, has not recognized common law marriages

 

 SSA - Program Operation Manual - State Laws on Validity of Common-Law Relationships

 

Your partner should go ahead and sign up and accept Medicare Part B and select a Medigap plan during the open enrollment period when approaching 65 years old OR yes, there will probably be a late enrollment penalty, lasting forever and possibly underwriting by a Medigap insurer.

 

Also don't forget a Medicare Part,D plan too.

 

Sorry - you both could attempt a legal challenge route, which would mean testing the New York law on not recognizing common law relationships OR the SSA rule on how they are currently interpreting it based on state law.  But that would be a long process - it surprises me that there is not such a lawsuit already - I didn't check.

 

Keep in mind that this interpretation also affects Social Security benefits between you two if there was ever a case where spousal, widow or even death benefit would apply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Domestic Partner - When to sign up for Medicare Part B and effect on Medigap eligibility?

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Hoping somebody might be able to help me with a couple of questions - I spoke with Medicare and they tried to be helpful, but did not seem to have the knowledge to fully address these questions.

 

My domestic partner is receiving social security and turns 65 later this year.  She is covered under my employer's health insurance and plans to continue coverage under my insurance next year.  I don't plan to retire for several years, so she'd rather decline Part B right now to avoid the monthly charge.  I understand that if we were married, she could do this and avoid penalties for "late" Part B sign-up in the future.  But since we are not married and live in New York (which does not recognize common law marriage), it is my understanding that she would have to pay the late sign-up penalty if she did not accept Part B when she turns 65.  Does this sound correct?

 

And perhaps more importantly, we are concerned with how this decision affects her eligibility for guaranteed Medigap plan acceptance in the future, once I am retired.  I have read that by signing up for Part B while you still have current employer coverage, you could be forfeiting your right to buy Medigap insurance with full Federal protection from discrimination based on pre-existing conditions in the future - because in this case you would be failing to obtain Medigap insurance during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period .  My domestic partner does have a pre-existing condition, so we want to keep the door open to a Medigap policy in the future.  Thus it would seem to make sense for her to opt out of Part B for now.

 

So if she opts out of Part B now based on the fact that she is fully covered under my employer plan (and keeping in mind that we are not married) - will her Medigap Open Enrollment Period "officially" start when she signs up for Part B... which could be several years down the road?  Will the Federal protection against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions be in place - given the fact that we are not married and she chose to delay Part B signup based on being covered under a Domestic Partner's insurance?  If we were married, it is my understanding that she would have the protections, given that her Medigap Open Enrollment Period would be considered to start when she signs up for Part B (a few years from now).  Does being covered by my insurance now as a domestic partner change this vs. if we were married?

 

Any suggestions on where to go for answers to these questions?

 

Many thanks!

 

David

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