It is more common for retired seniors to work. Almost 27% of people aged 65-74 are in the workforce, and the projected stats are rising. Some seek extra money, while others do it to pass the time. When you turn 65, you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you decide to go back into the workforce, you can opt to drop Medicare Part B coverage and expenses. Coverage of the benefits you receive from Part B will be replaced with the employer’s group health insurance. You can always opt to go back to Medicare at any point, but there will be some repercussions if not done at the right time.
What Medicare Covers
Medicare coverage is divided into two parts, Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A covers hospital care, and is usually free as long as you meet the Medicare guidelines: working at least 10 years before age 65, and being a US citizen. Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, including annual wellness visits every month, ambulance services, orthotics and prosthetics, medical equipment, and mental health care. (80% of costs covered by Medicare.) The monthly premium for Part B is
$135.50 for 2019. The cost might be higher depending on income..
What Employers Offer: HSA Plans
Employer’s offer health insurance coverage, and usually a health savings account, HSA, as well. If you are on Medicare Part A, you cannot make any contributions to an HSA. The employer’s coverage is considered a “high-deductible” plan. HSAs come with a triple tax benefit, but any contributions are tax-deductible, and withdrawals are untaxed as long as it is used for qualified medical expenses.
How It Will Cost You
If you drop your Part B plan for an employer’s plan, you can always sign up for Part B again during your Special Enrollment Period or SEP. This period is when you leave your employment, or the employment loses coverage. If you miss the 8-month SEP, you face a late-enrollment penalty, 10% of Part B’s monthly premium for each full year you should’ve been enrolled.
If you drop Part A, you might have to repay the government for any medical services under Medicare that you used. Also, if you collect social security, you will need to repay that back also.
Some seniors buy a Medicare Supplement plan to support their Medicare Part B expenses. When you drop Part B and sign up for your employer’s coverage, then you will also have to drop your Supplement plan. If you decide to go back to Medicare Part B, buying a Medicare Supplement plan will not be as easy. Your coverage could be denied due to pre-existing conditions and health status.
If you plan to drop your Medicare and use your employer’s health insurance plan, it can cost you in the long run. Your decision should be based on how much your employer’s plan costs, your out-of-pocket expenses in a high-deductible plan, and your budget. If you drop Medicare, returning can be difficult, so think carefully and explore your options completely before making a decision.