Just because you are over 65 doesn’t mean you are ready to leave the profession you love. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 10 million Americans have reached the traditional retirement age but aren’t ready to stop just yet. Many of your fellow physicians across Texas feel the same way.
The Rewards of Work
There are many financial, physical and emotional rewards that come with continuing to work. Delaying retirement provides a substantial income boost and allows you to build a healthier nest egg. Work also helps keeps us mentally sharp, physically active and socially connected. Some studies show that if you find your work to be meaningful, purposeful and satisfying, continuing past retirement age may even be help forestall some diseases and provide an overall, positive sense of wellbeing.
Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid
For all its benefits, there are some common and costly mistakes those working past 65 need to avoid. The financial damage these mistakes cause could undo some of the financial benefit of continuing to work.
Mistake #1 Overpaying for Health Insurance.
Missing the key deadlines for signing up for Medicare can leave you overpaying for health insurance for years to come. The viability of the Medicare program depends on younger, healthier people support the program long enough to offset the health costs of those who are older and less healthy. To motivate people to sign up as soon as possible, Medicare exacts heavy penalties on those who sign up late. The penalties are expensive and last a lifetime.
If you are still employed and on your employer’s health insurance plan, TMA Insurance Trust has prepared special information to help you avoid Medicare penalties. For more information, please consult the article entitled Important Information for Texas Physicians Working Past Age 65.
Mistake #2 Missing out on Your Guaranteed Acceptance Window
As a physician who may have worked with Medicare patients, you are probably aware that Medicare does not pay all your medical expenses. Medicare supplement insurance helps cover the co-pays, deductibles and other out of pocket costs that Medicare doesn’t pay. Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage. Both plans come with a guaranteed acceptance window, but the window closes very quickly.
There are only two guaranteed acceptance windows. The first window is called your Initial Enrollment Period. The window opens three months before your 65th birthday and closes three months after. The second window is for those who had what is known as creditable employer coverage. At whatever age you retire and lose your creditable employer coverage, you only have 63 days to receive what are known as “guaranteed issue rights.”
During the guaranteed acceptance window, you can sign up for any Medicare supplement plan you want and the company must offer you the best available rate, regardless of your health. You can’t be turned down or denied coverage. And your benefits go into effect immediately, with no waiting period.
If you miss these windows, insurers are allowed to collect information about your health and use it to decide whether to accept or deny your application. You may not be able to get the plan you want, or you may have to pay much more than you would have if you had enrolled during your guaranteed acceptance window.
Mistake #3 Missing Out on Savings
Signing up for a Medicare supplement plan and a Part D prescription drug plan is one of the most important financial decisions you will make in retirement. The right plan can save you thousands of dollars of unnecessary medical expenses.
TMA Insurance Trust is helping hundreds of physicians find the right coverage for their financial situation, health concerns and medication needs. Some Medicare consultants charge hundreds of dollars for their advice. Our licensed, and experienced advisors provide this personalized service at no cost and with no obligation.
When you speak to our advisors, be sure to ask about our household discounts and learn how both you and your spouse can save on Medicare supplement insurance.
Medicare and More
As you plan to transition from employer coverage, keep in mind that there are a number of services that Medicare doesn’t cover, including dental, vision, hearing, long term care and life insurance. TMA Insurance Trust can help you with all your insurance needs. Contact us today for a free, comprehensive retirement insurance review.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.