For most, health insurance is obtained through their employer. But what happens when one retires and is no longer employed? Will they be forced to go out and get their own health insurance, or are they partly compensated under Medicare or Medicaid?
Once you turn 65, you are eligible for Medicare. Medicare covers the most primitive and basic of medical expenses. It’s broken down into four parts, A, B, C, and D.
According to the government, most people are automatically enrolled into part A of the coverage.
- Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some health care. Because most people will pay into the Medicare tax while they’re working, there is no deductible or monthly premium once you’ve reached age 65.
- Part B covers doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, physical and occupational therapy, and some home health care. Coverage under this segment is optional, and therefore usually requires payment of a monthly premium of about $100.
- Part C covers medically-necessary services. It’s a combination of both parts A and B, and is managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Different co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles may be charged for this service.
- Part D covers prescription drug benefits. Monthly premiums, co-insurance, or co-payments may be required for each individual prescription.
What If You’re Not Medicare Eligible?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (or COBRA) requires that employers who currently employ 20 or more employees cover workers who leave the company for 18 months (29 months if the worker has been disabled) under the company’s insurance. These employees pay into COBRA while separated to participate in health insurance coverage.
If you retire before the age of 63 1/2 (65 years minus the 18 months from COBRA coverage), individual health care may be purchased through outside vendors. An individual evaluation of your health care needs will be required to choose the best type of health insurance.
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