Is it possible to have Medicare and employer health insurance at the same time?
Many people who work past 65 and are eligible for Medicare have this question. The short answer is yes. It is possible to have both Medicare and your employer health plan. In some situations, you can enroll for both Medicare and your employer health insurance coverage.
When to Enroll
People over 65 and who currently use the group health plan from their employer can enroll for Medicare. They can either choose to enroll for Medicare once they are eligible or enroll at a later date. This, however, depends on the size of the company and other factors. Under the right conditions, you can use Medicare with a group health plan to cover the costs of necessary healthcare services and other medical needs.
Primary and Secondary Insurance
Since many people continue to work after turning 65, they can become eligible for Medicare while having a group health insurance plan from their employer. Companies offer employer coverage plans to their full-time employees and, in many cases, their dependents. If this happens, the worker can hold both coverages. One will serve as the primary insurance, while the other will be the secondary insurance plan.
Employer health plans offer a variety of healthcare services, such as preventive visits and other comprehensive benefits. The size of the company and the type of coverage the employer health plan provides will determine if additional coverage from Medicare is necessary or not. Medicare Part A and Part B cover inpatient hospital care and outpatient medical coverage.
Original Medicare and your employer health insurance can function together to help cover your healthcare costs. If you have both Medicare and an employee health plan, the health plan that serves as the primary insurance will pay first and cover some medical costs, the secondary plan will then kick in to cover part or all of what is left by the primary health plan. The size of the company generally determines if Medicare will serve as the primary insurance or not. If you work at a company that does not have up to 20 employees, Medicare will serve as the primary health plan.
However, if your company has more than 20 employees, Medicare will serve as the secondary payer. The rule applies to general circumstances but may change in some situations. If you want to enroll for Medicare and have your employer insurance at the same time, ensure you register as soon as you become eligible.