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So You Are a Bus Driver, Over 65, and Recently Laid-off Due to COVID-19

So You Are a Bus Driver, Over 65, and Recently Laid-off Due to COVID-19
Person dealing with making a decision about getting Medicare insurance coverage after losing job due to Corona Virus.
What you must know about you health coverage when your employer coverage gets terminated and you are over 65.

You have your Medicare Part A, and now that you are no longer working, the employer coverage you had gets terminated and your COBRA coverage can kick in for a hefty price you cant afford. You employer suggested that they might call you back to work as soon as they re-open (or in this case, as soon as the schools open). So you want to stay positive and think that if you may be returning back to work, you will get your health insurance back through your employer.

Well, here’s some public information to consider

New York City’s unemployment rate decreased over the month from 20.3% to 19.8%. Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate increased from 12.2% to 13.1%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers increased over the month by 60,000, from 1,467,800 in June to 1,527,800 in July 2020.

The statistics can give us a perspective that we can consider when making our decisions in whether we should consider applying for Medicare Part B

however, it is not safe to assume that you will be going back to work any time soon Covid-19 is still lingering among us and cases across the United States have been increasing; on top of that, the unemployment rate among people age 65 and older quadrupled between March and April 2020 from 3.7% to 15.6%. By comparison, the overall unemployment rate tripled from 4.4% to 14.7%. From March to April, 1.2 million adults age 65 and older lost jobs, as did another 2.4 million people ages 55 to 64.

To connect everything here, and the reason I’m writing this post

I had several instances in the past 4 months where people over 65, had their Medicare Part A, and were laid off from work, or their hours were cut and they no longer had insurance coverage through their employer. The idea of getting Part B Medical coverage only came to them after they had to visit their doctor, where they incurred paying out of pocked, or after learning that they couldn’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan because they were not currently enrolled in Medicare Part B.


• I left coverage from my employer or union (including COBRA coverage). What can I do? Join a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan ( Source: medicare.gov)


* Your chance to join lasts for 2 full months after the month your coverage ends.

• Medicare beneficiaries who did not enroll in Medicare Part D or Medicare Part B or Premium-Medicare Part A when first eligible because they were covered under a group health plan are granted a Special Enrollment Period for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage if they no longer have employer or group health coverage ( Source: Q1medicare.com).

• The Medicare Part B Special Election Period (SEP)

Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) can enroll in Medicare Part B without incurring a late-enrollment penalty while they are still employed (or their spouse is still employed and up to eight (8) months after they no longer have employer coverage, change employer coverage, or are no longer working ( Source: Q1medicare.com).

So now the question arises, I will leave you or the people who help you make decisions answer the following questions:

• Should I be hopeful and wait until I get a call back from my employer to go back to work?

• Or should I apply for my Medicare Part B and Join a health insurance plan that can give me the health benefits I need with prescription drug coverage?

On a good note, Social Security has simplified the process for applying for Medicare Part B benefits

Social Security has finally created an electronic version of the 2 forms that need to be filled out, if your employer coverage was terminated: the CMS-40B Form ( application for part B) and L564 from that Employers have to fill out. Filling out the form online is very simple, and the link has to be provided to your HR department, or the department responsible in showing the dates you were employed with the employer, and the dates your insurance coverage was effective and when it terminated.

If you have any questions regarding how Part B works, the information is accessible on ssa.gov or you can check my previous posts on Medicare Part B. Feel free to contact me for any questions or assistance, or if you need assistance with any links 🙂

Follow the link to read more: https://www.facebook.com/SIMHANYC/posts/343804967056811

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for educational purposes, and express my knowledge through the experience I have working in the community. The intention of this post is to help.

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