Do I need Medicare Part B if I have retiree medical insurance through my former employer?

2 answers | Last updated: Apr 05, 2014
Q
gradyh asked...
I'm retired and have health insurance through my former employer. Do I need Medicare Part B, and should I still be paying for it out of my Social Security benefits?
 

Answers
Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
Caring.com Expert
A
Joseph L. Matthews is a Caring.com Expert, an attorney, and the author of Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It and...
91% helpful
answered...

The answer depends in part on the rules of your retiree health coverage. Employers aren't required by law to maintain health coverage for retired workers. So, if they do provide See also:
Do I have to take Medicare?
coverage, they can make almost any rules they want. Some employer-sponsored health insurance plans require Medicare-eligible retirees to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. In this way, Medicare pays for a substantial portion of health care costs and the employer-sponsored insurance only has to cover some of what Medicare doesn't pay. So, before you drop your Medicare Part B coverage, find out from your employer-sponsored health plan whether it requires you to maintain your Medicare Part B enrollment.

Even if your employer-sponsored plan doesn't require you to remain enrolled in Medicare Part B, it may be a good idea to keep it if the employer-sponsored insurance coverage leaves a lot of health care costs unpaid. If you have high out-of-pocket costs with your employer-sponsored retiree coverage, the monthly fee for Medicare Part B ($96.40 for most people in 2008) may be well worth the extra coverage it provides.

 

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