Founders Life and Health Blog
As an expert Independent broker based in Missouri, I’m at my happiest when sharing my knowledge and helping you make the most informed decisions on Medicare-related issues, including which plans are best for you.
Is Medicare Mandatory?
As many people discover, Medicare can be a really overwhelming and oftentimes a complex subject, even for experts in the field!
One of the questions I get asked the most by my clients is whether Medicare is mandatory.
In my article today, we will explore all the facts and find out the definitive answer!
Let’s first start with the quick answer, so you can get started right away in unraveling whether
Medicare is mandatory.
Medicare is not mandatory, but as a government program, it covers age-related care costs which
are difficult to prepare for. To opt-out of plan A, you need to be working and that company needs ‘creditable and current coverage’. You can delay plan B, but after 8 months a penalty is charged.
Ok! With the short answer in mind, let’s start by exploring some brief information on Medicare to help you better understand whether it is mandatory.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed for individuals age 65 and over and people with disabilities.
The program generally covers hospitalization and other medical costs at free or reduced rates.
The hospitalization portion, Medicare Part A, usually begins automatically at age 65. But the other parts require you to enroll.
If you keep working beyond age 65, you may have health insurance through your employer or have purchased a plan outside of Medicare.
In this case, you may choose to refuse Medicare coverage. However, delaying enrollment can add extra costs or penalties.
Are there any alternatives to Medicare?
Once you have reached age 65, the choices you face with your medical care can be tricky to navigate. The do’s and don’ts of Medicare can be a minefield. One of the main questions that those who are about to turn 65 ask me is, are there any alternatives to Medicare?
As we found out in the quick takeaway answer, technically the answer is no, Medicare is not mandatory. However, there is a wealth of information you will need to understand thoroughly if you do decide not to go ahead with Medicare.
This will help you make a better choice as to whether you are going to take social security after 65.
As a Medicare expert based in the St.Louis, Missouri area, I will take you through some of the important points to remember.
“There is a wealth of information you will need to understand thoroughly if you do decide not to go ahead with Medicare.”
How does Medicare work with social security?
If you decide to take Social security, Medicare Part A will be automatically included in your Medicare plan.
So what exactly is Medicare part A and which medical services does it cover? Let’s find out a little more.
What is included in Medicare Part A?
There are many services covered by Medicare part A.
These will include many services and care which are important as you age and more crucially, services that can be extremely costly.
Benefits of choosing Medicare
For those who are wondering whether it’s mandatory to choose Medicare after 65, you might be considering the benefits.
Unseen age-related costs
This is a particular benefit of choosing to go with Medicare. These types of costs are often unseen and difficult to plan for financially.
As this is also a government program, one of the top benefits is that there is zero cost to you.
You will receive all the benefits of Part A without any kind of monthly billing from Medicare.
“As this is also a government program, one of the top benefits is that there is zero cost to you.”
But what about part B? Let’s find out a little more.
Medicare Part B
By taking a Medicare plan you will be automatically enrolled in Part B.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s mandatory to take part B. You can delay this option.
The choice will depend on a few important criteria such as:
If you fulfill those important criteria, you do not have to take part B and simply continue using your group coverage.
At the point you decide to retire, you then have eight months in which to enroll In Part B.
As long as you enroll within that frame, there will be no penalties.
This is why it’s important to understand how the plans work as if you miss that deadline, you will end up paying out a considerable amount in penalties.
“At the point, you decide to retire, you then have eight months in which to enroll In Part B.”
How much is the penalty?
The actual cost is 10 percent for every 12 months after the missed deadline.
By drawing up a clear plan of when you are going to take Plan B, you can avoid these extra costs.
So there it is! Hopefully everything you need to know in order to make the best choices about Medicare and finding out for sure whether it’s mandatory.
As an Independent broker and Medicare advisor with Founders Life and Health, I am here if you need any help relating to all things Medicare.
I am licensed in all 50 states, so wherever you are, reach out anytime, even if you have some topics you would like me to cover in blogs and videos.
Don’t forget to check out my YouTube video on this topic and share it with anyone else that may have questions about Medicare.
About the Author
Hello! I’m Jo Hutchison and I’m the owner of Founders Life & Health. I’m a proud baseball mom, lover of live music and all things potato.. My husband and I have two great boys and two lazy hound dogs. My boys play a LOT of baseball so when I’m not helping my clients we can almost always be found on a baseball field somewhere in the Midwest.
I’m a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) and a member of NAHU (National Association of Health Underwriters). I spend a good deal of my time working on educational outlets and working on healthcare policy change to help bring comprehensive and AFFORDABLE coverage to everyone. Nothing makes me happier than sharing the tidbits of knowledge that I know about the Medicare and health insurance world so people can make the most informed decisions about what plans they need.
The most important thing that I have learned through the years in this business is that each client has very different needs. Our goal is to listen to you, assess your needs, and use our experience and knowledge to help you make informed decisions about your health care coverage. We are an independent brokerage so we advocate for our clients, not the insurance companies.