Know Your Medicare Options.
Oil Companies Dropping Retiree Medicare Plans!
I am so nervous over what is happening with my husband’s retirement benefits. He worked for Chevron for over 30 year and beginning January 1st we will not have any company benefits.
What do I do NOW? I am a 73-year-old female who has never purchased insurance before and have no idea of what to look for. My husband, Paul who is 77 is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and cannot help me with this transition.
You understand Medicare and can explain to me what I need to do in such easy terms that I can comprehend. I cannot afford to make a costly mistake because the Alzheimer’s facility is costing over $7,000 a month for Paul’s care.
~ Thanks in advance…Charlotte from Spring Branch area
Hello Ms. Charlotte:
You are about the 4th person this week which contacted me about losing retiree benefits because their company is either not covering the retirees and spouses or moving retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan that will save the company’s bottom line.
This trend of companies not covering retirees began during 2013’s Medicare Open Enrollment Period with Baker Hughes, TRS and CITGO to name a few companies not covering their retirees. Last year, Schlumberger and Marathon Oil changed their retirement options.
From the information that I have read, if you do not make the change, then you will lose any help from your retirement company with the HRA (health reimbursement account) benefits checks coming from who you retired from.
I am sure that there are others having the same problem because the letters informing the retirees are beginning to arrive in the mailbox.
Don’t WORRY!! There is light at the end of the tunnel!! You have two options to pick from that the Medicare programs which your retiree benefits Medicare plans offers:
Option #1:Medicare Supplement with a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)
- Works directly with “Original Medicare” and gives more freedom to go to any healthcare facility, provider or doctor who accepts Medicare assignment. Charlotte…you have retirement benefits and since your retirement company, has sent you and your husband, Paul, a letter saying that you will have no medical insurance coverage after December 31,2016; both you and your husband will have guaranteed issue(which means you do not have to answer health questions and your Medicare Supplement insurance policy will be issued). Guaranteed issue is for certain Medicare Supplement plans depending on the insurance company you apply. You will have 63 days to apply and receive guaranteed issue for a Medicare Supplement because you are currently “not working” and retired on company benefits. You will want to search for a Medicare Part D plan that fits your needs and covers all your drugs. Call Medicare at 1/800-MEDICARE (633-4227) or go online at medicare.gov to see which Part D Plan fits your needs. You will have the same 63 days to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan without receiving a Part D (LEP) penalty.
Option #2: Medicare Advantage Plan with or without Part D
- Talk with your doctor about changing from “Original Medicare” to a Medicare Advantage plan. Make sure your doctor or healthcare facility accepts the Medicare Advantage plan that you are exploring. Many Medicare Advantage plans contain Medicare Part D, then you may not have to enroll in a separate Part D plan.
If you have any other questions concerning losing your retirement benefits or searching for the right Medicare plan, email Toni at email@example.com.
Toni King, author of the new Medicare Survival Guide®. On sale at www.tonisays.com. Medicare consultations are available at the Toni Says office or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832/519-TONI (8664).