Applying for Medicare fall of 2019. Retiring 2020. Need advice.

sam1954

New member
I have group health coverage through my employer and plan to sign up for Medicare (Parts A & B) along with a Medicare Advantage plan when I turn 65 and drop my employer health coverage, .... but then wait until I turn 66 to apply for Social Security benefits.

I'll only be working one more year after signing up for Medicare, so I figure I may as well take care of everything right now and eliminate the hassle later when I retire. Are there any pitfalls I should look out for?

I've heard I'll need to provide proof of "credible insurance" for a certain number of years. For how many years? To whom? Social Security? Medicare? Anyone know?

I've been with the same company for 35 years, but the company has been bought by different entities at least three times now. Unfortunately, we don't have an on-sight HR person to talk to anymore. Have to communicate with HR by phone and email. Corporations!
 

Butterfly

Well-known member
Sam, I did basically what you are describing and it worked out just fine. I've stayed with the same Medicare Advantage plan since I turned 65, and have never had to provide the certificate of creditable insurance to anyone. If you need one, you can request one from your previous carrier, but I wouldn't worry about it overmuch. When I switched from my private insurance to the Medicare Advantage, they handled the creditable insurance thing by inquiring of my previous carrier themselves. When my sis switched from one Advantage plan to another two years ago, they also handled it themselves
 

fmdog44

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Texas
I never herd of providing a proof of credible of insurance unless it is something new. Go to the Medicare website and look for it. Sounds like you are getting out just in time. My company was bought out a few months before I retired and it turned out they pissed off everyone with their new policies.
 

MissMolly

New member
Proof of credible coverage is only required if you sign up past your date of first eligibility (3 months before 65, the month turning 65 and 3 months after 65). That is because for those who do not sign up during that 7 month period and fail to show credible coverage are assessed a life long penalty for Medicare once they do sign up. But in your case, this will not apply since you are signing up at 65.
 

sam1954

New member
Original Poster
Proof of credible coverage is only required if you sign up past your date of first eligibility (3 months before 65, the month turning 65 and 3 months after 65). That is because for those who do not sign up during that 7 month period and fail to show credible coverage are assessed a life long penalty for Medicare once they do sign up. But in your case, this will not apply since you are signing up at 65.
Thanks Molly. Appreciate it!! ;)
 

NewRetire18

New member
I never herd of providing a proof of credible of insurance unless it is something new. Go to the Medicare website and look for it. Sounds like you are getting out just in time. My company was bought out a few months before I retired and it turned out they pissed off everyone with their new policies.
This is not new, but it is not encountered by everyone. I had to provide it because I delayed getting Medicare B -and D - until after I quit work, which was after age 66. It was the part D that needed the letter, because they tried to penalize me for not getting it when I got Part A. It all worked out, no penalties once they got the letter.
 

MannyGT

New member
Proof of credible coverage is only required if you sign up past your date of first eligibility (3 months before 65, the month turning 65 and 3 months after 65). That is because for those who do not sign up during that 7 month period and fail to show credible coverage are assessed a life long penalty for Medicare once they do sign up. But in your case, this will not apply since you are signing up at 65.
Why must one be assessed a penalty for life for signing up late for Medicare, "it makes no sense!" They tried to penalize me, but I simply dropped the medical portion and kept the hospital part which in my state is free. When the time comes, I do have access to medical benefits at a much lower rate.
 

MissMolly

New member
Well, then let's hope you don't develop a serious illness that requires months if not years of medication and doctor visits, because your hospital coverage will do nothing for you unless you are hospitalized. And being in your state has nothing to do with free Part A. Medicare is a federal program, not a state program. Basically everyone who is eligible for Medicare receives Part A for free. Penalties are assessed because in order for Medicare to survive, all persons need to pay in whether they are healthy or not. If everyone only signed up for coverage when they were ill, the system would struggle even more than it does now. Ir absolutely makes sense. That is like saying you won't pay for homeowner's insurance until your house is on fire.
 

MannyGT

New member
Based on my family history and my current physical condition, that is a gamble I am willing to take. Thank you for that info regarding Medicare and why penalties are assessed. Another words; healthy people are being forced to immediately pay into a system they currently do not need, but will be of help to those who currently need it. Yes it does make sense, if a system is expected to survive. I've been paying for homeowner's insurance for roughly 50 years, without ever making a claim for a house fire or any other repairs as for that matter. Because I live in a zone where flooding and forest fires are pretty much non existent, means that it's possible for me to discontinue payments on my insurance, without ever having the need to use it for the remainder of my life. To gamble or not.... hmm!
 

MissMolly

New member
Your current physical condition can change in the blink of an eye. My sister-in-law was 50 years old. Never sick, excellent physical condition. Exercised. Ate right. Didn't smoke. Didn't drink to excess. Didn't do drugs. She developed a weird "stitch" in her side like you get after running that persisted. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She went through round after round of chemo and doctor visits costing close to a million $$$. She died 18 months later. You should not gamble like this. Past history does not predict future outcomes. You're not sick until you are. Your house doesn't burn down until it does. You don't have a car wreck until you do. Insurance is not for what happened in the past, it's for what could happen in the future - which cannot be predicted.

As far as the comment about healthy people paying into a system they currently don't need - thats the way insurance works. All insurance whether health insurance, car insurance, whatever is based on that principle.
 

MannyGT

New member
Colliding head on with a Mack truck will definitely change ones current physical condition in the blink of an eye, that's life. What happened to your sister-in-law is unfortunate, sorry to hear about that. According to you, she was in excellent shape, ate right, didn't smoke, didn't drink to excess, and still passed at an early age. You then told me I should not gamble like this. Seriously! She was doing everything right... where's the gamble there.

I know how insurance works, but unlike medicare; the majority of them do not penalize you (for life!) simply because you were not informed that you must sign-up in a "timely" manner.
 
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OneEyedDiva

Well-known member
Location
Nrw Jersey
Based on my family history and my current physical condition, that is a gamble I am willing to take. Thank you for that info regarding Medicare and why penalties are assessed. Another words; healthy people are being forced to immediately pay into a system they currently do not need, but will be of help to those who currently need it. Yes it does make sense, if a system is expected to survive. I've been paying for homeowner's insurance for roughly 50 years, without ever making a claim for a house fire or any other repairs as for that matter. Because I live in a zone where flooding and forest fires are pretty much non existent, means that it's possible for me to discontinue payments on my insurance, without ever having the need to use it for the remainder of my life. To gamble or not.... hmm!
Like Miss Molly, I hope you don't find yourself in a position where you need the medical coverage. My husband ate well, didn't smoke or drink alcohol, never was overweight, ripped and ran and did things for so many people. He looked the picture of health...his good looks belied his age. He started with high blood pressure, wound up with a pulmonary embolism, he beat a bout with pancreatic cancer after radiation treatment and was in the hospital for two weeks. A couple of years down the road, more medications, more doctor visits necessary. Between September and December of last year, his health spiraled and he died in December. Granted he spent much of that time in and out of the hospital (his last two weeks in the ICU) and rehab but there were many doctor appointments in between, some with specialists. Just hope your health holds up.
 

MannyGT

New member
I'm not against getting medical coverage, I'm against paying a penalty for it. But then again, there are options available where one can avoid being placed in such a predicament. Thank you for your concern.

P.S.
My mom grew up in New Jersey. She along with her parents, my grandparents, spent the remainder of their adult lives here in California.
 

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