We make a pretty big deal about COBRA and Medicare when we’re talking to people. Our team’s ears are trained to “perk up” when we hear the word “COBRA”.
To an employee that is separating from an employer for whatever reason, their ears don’t perk up as ours do. They are concerned with keeping their insurance coverage at a hopefully affordable price. That’s seriously all that they are thinking about (and makes a bunch of sense!)
Twice in the past week, I myself have spoken with two people over the age of 65 that are on COBRA coverage and are only enrolled into Medicare’s Part A/hospital coverage. BIG PROBLEM.
When a person is Medicare eligible and is now on COBRA coverage, Medicare becomes their primary insurance “carrier”. Well, if you don’t have your Part B in place with Medicare, you don’t have a primary insurance carrier.
One gentleman found out while at the doctors office for a routine visit, the other found out via our conversation and he has very, very serious health challenges so there is concern there for sure. He’s been on COBRA for months.
Due to the fact that these folks have no primary insurance in place with Medicare, there is certainly the chance that they may have to pay the 80% that the primary insurance (Medicare) would have paid. That leaves an age 65+ person paying a lot for COBRA coverage that could cover only 20% of bills.
Not what they thought they were getting.
Get Part B asap and (generally) leave the COBRA plan; it’s an expensive supplement to Medicare at that point.
Learn more about COBRA and Medicare here
The transition to Medicare (at any age) is a super important conversation to have and a super important thing to do correctly. Medicare can be rather “easy” when you do the right thing at the right time. Learning what those things are is the challenge.
Call us if you’re in the zone of 12-18 months ahead of transitioning to Medicare! That’s our sweet spot 🙂
Joanne Giardini-Russell is a Medicare Nerd & the owner of Giardini Medicare, helping people throughout Metro Detroit and the country transition to Medicare successfully. Contact Joanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 248-871-7756.
Leave a Reply