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Thinking About Full Retirement - Looking For Advice

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Thinking About Full Retirement - Looking For Advice

Hi All,

 

I'm thinking about the possibility of full retirement and have several questions. This is all new to me, so let me explain the basic situation here...

 

I'm 67 years old and currently working full-time. I'm already receiving my SS benefits, and had also signed up for Medicare Part A at the same time I initiated benefits. However, I did NOT opt for other Medicare "Parts" as I'm currently insured through my office with an employer sponsored (non-government) plan (through a well-known provider). To date, I haven't received any medical care under the Medicare program.

 

My wife will be 62 years old in a few months, and also receives her medical services (as my spouse) through my work plan. She's not employed, and doesn't plan on working in the foreseeable future. We live in California.

 

So my initial questions are...

 

1) If I opt to fully retire (quit my job), what is involved in activating the other Medicare Parts to round out my coverage. Do I need them, or is it sometimes better to look into the 3rd party providers who constantly advertise on TV?
2) How long does it take for supplemental coverage's to take effect?
3) Since my wife isn't working and has no income, what are the recommended options to consider for her medical coverage? Obviously we'd like good coverage at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost.

 

I know it would be difficult to offer detailed solutions. I'm really just looking for some advice on getting the retirement ball rolling. Thanks!

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I can address a part of your question. Regarding medicare, you can enroll in traditional medicare and then buy a supplemental policy that covers the 20% of costs that medicare does not. To me--this seems like a hassle to have a separate policy.  A medicare advantage plan is an HMO and they take care o everything.  You must get and pay for Medicare (all of the parts) and from then on, you go to the HMO and maybe have some small deductibles or copays.  It avoids the hassle of dealing with a separate insurance company.  That is my opinion only.  You likely have a choice (depends on your location) of medicare advantage plans in your area. In some areas, there are some plans for $0 per month. How can they cost $0? Because the money that you pay Medicare entitles you to benefits that go to the HMO.

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@larryk678000 wrote:

A medicare advantage plan is an HMO and they take care o everything.



Thanks for the overview on advantage plans! I've been curious about how they work. Much appreciated!

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@MichaelT817582 With regard to questions 1 and 2, I am linking a Social Security article that may help you https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10012.pdf With regard to third party providers, Kaiser is a popular Medicare Advantage Plan in CA. You may already be enrolled in an employer sponsored Kaiser HMO. If so, you are the better judge of their performance. With regard to question 3, your spouse may qualify for continuation coverage via COBRA should you separate from service (retire). You may find the monthly premium for COBRA is less than coverage via the ACA (Obamacare) especially if your employer has a substantial number of younger employees. Generally, the ACA has age and location based premiums. Also, if your joint income exceeds the ACA  thresholds, your spouse may not qualify for a subsidy. The ACA is expensive. 

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Hi, Michael and Mrs!

 

The only advise I can offer based on my personal experience is take the other Medicare options as soon as you are eligible (upon full retirement). I found out the hard way, when I could not afford the part b to survive on, that there is a penalty (I think 10% per month) for not doing that! I had no idea; so now I cannot qualify for or afford any supplemental plan, I don't think ever.

 

I'm okay with that; my mistake. But hope others don't fall into that trap...


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@WebWiseWoman wrote:

Hi, Michael and Mrs!

 

The only advise I can offer based on my personal experience is take the other Medicare options as soon as you are eligible (upon full retirement). I found out the hard way, when I could not afford the part b to survive on, that there is a penalty (I think 10% per month) for not doing that! I had no idea; so now I cannot qualify for or afford any supplemental plan, I don't think ever.

 

I'm okay with that; my mistake. But hope others don't fall into that trap...


Great to know, thanks! I'd heard something about that but still need to look into the details. At 67, I may already be in for penalties on the other Medicare parts. I have only Part "A" currently. Never bothered with the other Parts since I still have private insurance via my employer.

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