Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

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soup_can
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:40 pm

Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by soup_can » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:00 pm

My mother will turn 65 in October and asked me to assist her with Social Security and Medicare benefits. I have spent some time doing research and feel overwhelmed. Another thread recommended contacting the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and I will call them tomorrow.

My mother:
- is widowed
- is collecting social security survivor benefits
- currently works in a government job with benefits but low pay.
- has health insurance through her job
- she will continue to work for at least one more year

I assume that she should:
1) sign up for Medicare Part A
2) not sign up for Medicare Part B (because she already has health insurance from work?)
3) delay taking her own SSN benefits now until age 70. I am not sure how to perform this calculation.

Thank you for your support.

billfromct
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Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by billfromct » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 am

How much does your mother make per year?

If she is under her full retirement age (I believe 66 years & 2 months) & earning over $17,640 while collecting SS, SS will claw back $1 for every $2 over that $17,640 earned income figure.

I guess SS will find out her income a year or 2 after she files her income taxes.

She may get a letter from SS asking for part of the money back. It's my understanding that once she reaches full retirement age (66 years & 2 months?), her survivor SS benefits will be adjusted to reflect the money SS clawed back.

I suggest you Google "earning income while collecting Social Security".

Once she leaves her job, if over 65, she will have to get Form CMS-L564 (a form that says she has medical insurance from her employer). I believe there is an 8 month grace period after age 65 to sign up for Medicare Part B before a penalty starts.

If you & your mother meet with the SHIP person, all this should be explained.

I applied for Medicare Part B at the age of 69 after getting laid off. I only had 2 weeks after getting laid off to get my Medicare Part B effective plus my retirement healthcare supplemental to cover the 20% of health costs that Medicare doesn't cover.

The signed CMS-L564 form from my employer was what took the longest. I had to send in a written request to Corporate HR (they wouldn't take an E-mail with an attachment), it had to be signed by someone from Corporate HR, then they had to mail me back the original form which I had to take to the SS office to sign up for Medicare Part B.

I signed up for Medicare Part A when I turned 65 since there is no cost to sign up for Part A (hospital coverage), so you want to sign up for Part A right at age 65.

I also signed up for survivor benefits at age 66, my full retirement age, while still working.

bill

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FiveK
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Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by FiveK » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:57 pm

soup_can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:00 pm
I assume that she should:
1) sign up for Medicare Part A
2) not sign up for Medicare Part B (because she already has health insurance from work?)
3) delay taking her own SSN benefits now until age 70. I am not sure how to perform this calculation.
1. Yes
2. Depends on what the employer's insurance assumes about what a 65 year old employee will do. She will need to check that.
3. That is a hotly debated issue. Your assumption is reasonable. See Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70 - Bogleheads.org for just one of many lengthy threads on this.

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TexasPE
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Location: Southeast Texas

Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by TexasPE » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm

This book will answer most of your Medicare questions...

https://www.amazon.com/Medicare-Dummies ... 362&sr=1-2
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill

spencer99
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by spencer99 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:09 pm

soup_can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:00 pm
I assume that she should:
1) sign up for Medicare Part A
2) not sign up for Medicare Part B (because she already has health insurance from work?)
3) delay taking her own SSN benefits now until age 70. I am not sure how to perform this calculation.
1) Be careful here if your mother is funding a HSA

A Bogleheads member, Mike Piper (The Oblivious Investor) is a good resource. Piper authored one of the best books on Social Security benefits (Amazon) and has a very useful benefit calculator: https://opensocialsecurity.com/

S

123
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Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by 123 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:53 pm

Options for health insurance can change dramatically once an individual is age 65 and eligible for Medicare.

Do not necessarily assume that coverage through her employer is a "better deal" than if were eligible for Medicare and elected a Medicare Advantage or Medigap policy. (However once you enroll in a Medicare Advantage program it can be more difficult to switch to a Medigap type policy).

I have an aunt who had decided to continue working to continue her employer health insurance benefits since she was reluctant to make any change. She decided to retire when she found out that she could get Medicare and maintain coverage with the same health plan (Kaiser HMO Medicare Advantage in Southern California) for less than what was taken out of her paycheck as her contribution to health insurance costs. There were some miner differences in coverage between the employer coverage and the Medicare Advantage HMO coverage but she decided they weren't significant for her. It's can all be a very individual matter that depends on your location, your present coverage, Medicare Advantage/Medigap options and costs, and what your health care needs and expectations are.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

JoeRetire
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Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:03 pm

billfromct wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 am
If she is under her full retirement age (I believe 66 years & 2 months) & earning over $17,640 while collecting SS, SS will claw back $1 for every $2 over that $17,640 earned income figure.
One minor correction - her FRA is 66 years.

Lalamimi
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Re: Overwhelmed with Social Security and Medicare Benefits for DM

Post by Lalamimi » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:25 pm

Your mom only needs Part A now. But, if she loses her job and insurance, she does have 8 months to get Part B (and a supplement) BUT only 63 days to get Part D for medications. Went through this last year when I was laid off at 64, but my husband was 66. Hold off on her SS as long as she can. Not sure if her survivors benefits will last until 70. SHIP can help. We used Boomer Benefits when I signed up at age 65 to find the best Supplement and Part D.

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Bogle7
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of Course it is overwhelming

Post by Bogle7 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:01 pm

Welcome to ‘Murica where collecting your government benefits requires degrees in accounting and law.
I have no idea how less educated people cope with this.

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LilyFleur
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Re: of Course it is overwhelming

Post by LilyFleur » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:47 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:01 pm
Welcome to ‘Murica where collecting your government benefits requires degrees in accounting and law.
I have no idea how less educated people cope with this.
+1

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