Mary Beth Franklin checks in with her “favorite Medicare expert” Dr. Katy Votava

Confusion about Medicare plagues older workers

By Mary Beth Franklin, InvestmentNews, November 9, 2021

A friend contacted me the other day with questions about enrolling in Medicare now that their youngest child has aged out of their employer-based group health insurance plan. She figured she and her husband could save a lot of money on health insurance premiums by switching from family coverage to Medicare since they are both over 65.

I hated to break the bad news to her, but in their case, enrolling in Medicare now may not generate the savings she had envisioned. There were lots of questions to answer and numbers to crunch.

Consider the facts. Two spouses, both over 65, want to continue seeing their current doctors and enroll in Original Medicare, which is accepted anywhere in the country, rather than a private Medicare Advantage plan that can be limiting coverage to in-network providers.

Medicare Part A hospital insurance is premium-free to anyone who has paid FICA payroll taxes for at least ten years (or is married to someone who did). Medicare Part B, which pays for doctors’ fees and outpatient services, has a monthly premium, plus additional surcharges for higher-income beneficiaries.

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