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Retiree Medical

Before they retire, older workers want to ensure that their own health and their family’s health needs are taken care of, even if they’re no longer punching a clock or sitting in an office. Most employers want to know what their liability will be for older, former employees who are more prone to health problems and more likely to file insurance claims. It is possible to offer retirees generous retiree medical insurance benefits without severely denting your company budget in the process.

Making Sense of the Risk of Retiree Medical Insurance

If you offer retiree health insurance, you already know that your risk is greatly increased, particularly if you have a self-funded health insurance plan. It is possible to shift the risk away from yourself as an employer while still providing for your retirees and their unique healthcare insurance needs.

Typically, retirees have the option to stay on their employer’s health insurance plan for at least 18 months. This is thanks to the federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Then the questions become: Do retirees keep the same plan design as employees? Are premiums different than during employment? Who is responsible for paying the premium? Is a retiree’s eligibility for medical insurance affected by retiring? What costs can the retiree afford? What costs can our company afford?

You want to do right by your retirees. They put in, presumably, many years with your organization. They deserve to go off into their leisure years with peace of mind about their healthcare insurance coverage. It is understandable if you want to cut ties and shave costs off your company budget, but the obligation to provide for your employees should not end at retirement.

Integrating Group Health Insurance for Retirees with Medicare
Group health plans for retirees are complex benefits, but there are options for making this type of coverage affordable and workable with Medicare and your company:

  • Some retiree medical insurance plans can be integrated with Medicare to take advantage of Medicare’s cost-containment measures.
  • Medicare and Medicate Advantage Plans are both options for retirees age 65 and over.
  • Look for a retiree insurance carrier that takes retirees out of the active employee medical plan. This move can improve the efficiency of your employee plan, and help contain costs.
  • Choose flexible alternatives for prescription drug coverage through Medicare.
The Benefits Your Retirees Are Hoping For
Retirees will want straight answers about how their group health insurance benefits change upon retirement. They will have questions such as:

  • Can I continue in our current group plan?
  • If you do not offer retiree health insurance, will COBRA be enough to keep me on our current plan?
  • How much does COBRA cost? How long will COBRA last? Does my family benefit from COBRA?
  • Do I receive certain health insurance benefits because of my age or longevity on the job?
  • How do I include estimated health care costs in my retirement package?
  • Will the retiree insurance cover dental visits, premiums, or out-of-pocket costs?
  • Will you subsidize a portion of the cost of medical insurance?

It’s important to encourage your employees and retirees to ask questions about their group health insurance coverage. Being straightforward about the requirements of the plan, the subsidies involved, and the overall cost makes sure everyone is on the same page.

Streamline Retiree Medical Insurance Offerings
While many retirees plan to rely on Medicare alone, remind these valued employees that Medicare does not cover everything. Medicare does normally include hearing and vision benefits and an annual physical exam. However, many retiree medical insurance plans offer enhanced coverage with elements such as:

  • Integration with Medicare parts A and B, wherein Medicare pays first and the group plan for retirees pays second.
  • Help with paying deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Support for groups of various sizes, whether a thousand-person company or a five-person team.
  • Coverage for spouses or domestic partners.
  • The ability to choose the best prescription drug plan for your convenience and wallet.
  • Enhanced coverage for treatments such as acupuncture or chiropractic care.

Learn more about retiree medical insurance, your obligations as an employer who offers health care coverage, and different types of packages available. Protect your valued retirees. Discuss your retiree medical insurance needs with a representative from The Benefits Group. Contact us to schedule a consultation.


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