I am currently covered by Medicare. Can I keep my Medicare coverage even though marketplace plans are available, or do I need to select a plan through the marketplace?
You can keep your Medicare and you do not need to make any changes to your coverage because of Obamacare. You may have heard about the new requirement that all adults need to have health insurance coverage (known as the “individual mandate”) or have to pay a penalty if they go without health insurance, but your Medicare coverage satisfies this requirement. So if you have Medicare, this penalty won’t apply to you.
If you have Medicare, you should keep it. In fact, companies that sell marketplace plans are prohibited from selling these plans to you if they know you are covered by Medicare. If you do drop Medicare, and choose to re-enroll months or years later, you may face a penalty for late enrollment.
Will Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D drug plans, or Medigap policies be sold through the workplace?
No. Medicare Advantage plans (such as Medicare HMOs and PPOs), Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and Medigap policies will not be sold through the new marketplace. They will be available as they are today. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D plan on the Medicare website (www.Medicare.gov) or by signing up directly with the company that offers the plan. To learn more about your coverage options under Medicare, including the Medicare Advantage plans, Part D drug plans, and Medigap supplemental policies available in your area, and how to enroll, you can go to the Medicare Plan Finder on www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
My husband and I are retired. He just turned 65 and is now covered by medicare, but I am g62 and don’t have health insurance. Can I enroll in Medicare as his spouse?
No. Medicare doesn’t offer spouse or dependent coverage. Each person must qualify in her or her own right. You do not qualify yet because you are younger than age 65. If you do not have health insurance now, you can consider signing up for health insurance coverage through a marketplace plan. If your household income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for premium tax credits to reduce your cost of a marketplace policy. If your household income is at or below 138% of poverty (about $15,900 for an individual), you might be eligible for Medicaid under the new eligibility rules if you live in a state that is expanding its Medicaid program.
I am 66 years old and still work. I have health insurance coverage through my employer. I am planning on working a few more years and would like to keep the coverage that my employer offers. How does the marketplace affect me?
It doesn’t. You can keep your employer-sponsored health insurance coverage as long as that is an option for you. Since you are already eligible for Medicare because you are over age 65, you should sign up for Medicare now so that when you stop working, or if you lose your employer coverage before then you are already enrolled in Medicare. Once you decide when you want to stop working, you should contact the Social Security Administration so that you don’t have a gap in coverage between your employer’s plan and Medicare.