Social Security: You can have Medicare and private insurance

Social Security: You can have Medicare and private insurance

January 17th, 2013 By Gregory Holmes in Business Diary

Gregory Holmes, district manager for Social Security

Q. Mr. G asks: If I am currently covered by my employer's health insurance plan and I am over 65 years old, am I allowed to have Medicare Part A and B along with the insurance coverage I now have through my employer? I have been told I cannot have both.

A. Yes. Medicare Part A and B may be used in conjunction with your employer's plan. Your group health plan will be primary and Medicare will be secondary.

You have the option to apply (or not to apply) for Medicare Part A and/or B if:

• You are age 65 or older

• You or your spouse is still working

• You are covered under a group health plan based on current employment

Most people apply for Part A because it is free. There is a premium for Part B, which is $104.90 per month. The fee for Part B is the reason most people wait to file for the Part B until after they stop working.

A. person covered under a group health plan who is working has a "special enrollment period" to sign up for Part B. You have a window of eight months to sign up.

The eight-month period begins with the month after your group health plan coverage or the current employment it is based on ends, whichever comes first.

For more information, you may visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov or call us at 866-964-0029.

Q. In talking with my son, I found out that he submitted incorrect information about my resources when he completed my Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs. How can I get my application changed now to show the correct amount?

A. You can call 1-800-772-1213 and let us know. Or, you can contact your local Social Security office. (Find it by going to www.social security/locator/.)

Data on your application will be matched with data from other federal agencies. If there is a discrepancy that requires verification, we will contact you.

Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp.

Submit questions to local Social Security Director Gregory Holmes by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, or by emailing him at dflessner@timesfreepress.com.