Understanding Medicare is difficult for many staff members within your school board. In fact, for some employees reaching sixty five, the challenges that Medicare enrollment presents may cause them to avoid the program even when they qualify.
When employees avoid enrollment into Medicare, they could miss deadlines, choose the wrong plan or delay enrollment, which can cost teachers and staff considerably, due to penalties and late fees.
When considering the federal health care program, there are some unique aspects that teachers need to take into account such as additional investments, 403b plans, pension and social security, all of which can further complicate Medicare and the retirement process.
Addressing these concerns with your employees should occur early and often. Resources, such as consultations with advisors, informational emails or workshops, should be available throughout the school board to help answer difficult questions that come when considering Medicare enrollment.
Part of the reason Medicare is so complicated is because it comes with multiple options. Some aspects of Medicare that employees need to consider are:
- Part A – Hospital insurance, which covers in-hospital and patient care.
- Part B – Medical insurance, which covers outpatient and medical care.
- Part D – Prescription drug coverage, covers most self-administered prescription drugs.
- Medicare – includes Part A, Part B and the option of adding Part D
- Medicare Advantage – considered an “all in one” alternative to Medicare, and includes Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D as well as other benefits such as vision/dental etc.
- There are also premiums, deductibles and copays to consider.
Many employees need and welcome the opportunity to to learn more about Medicare insurance, everything from options to eligibility as well as the relationship between their traditional health insurance plan and Medicare benefits. The more information and resources that are supplied, the better choices your people can make.
Discussing these choices with a professional who knows the answers to their specific questions can be beneficial. For example, some teachers pay into a Teacher Retirement System within their state, these teachers will need to know how Medicare enrollment affects this account.
About 25% of people are unsure about what a traditional health plan covers and the fact that Medicare is even more complex, some teachers may find Medicare simply too difficult to navigate or may even avoid it entirely.
By educating staff and spreading awareness to the possibilities medicare offers, an employee could find medicare is in fact a better option for them, helping them to enroll into Medicare at the right time.
Understanding Medicare can be difficult for your employees, but by setting up consultations with an expert to talk about their individual health insurance needs, you can help employees who are considering Medicare enrollment make positive, smart decisions.