Your Weekly Medicare Consumer Advocacy Update
Report: More Doctors Accepting Medicare
|August 22, 2013||Volume 4, Issue 33|
COBRA is a federal law that gives you the right to continue your health insurance once it ends because of job loss, divorce, death or other reasons. You must pay the full premium yourself.
If you already have COBRA coverage when you enroll in Medicare:
Your COBRA will probably end. Contact your COBRA benefits manager to find out.
Caution: If you have COBRA and become Medicare-eligible, you should enroll in Part B immediately because you are not entitled to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) when COBRA ends. Your spouse and dependents may keep COBRA for up to 36 months, regardless of whether you enroll in Medicare during that time.
If you become eligible for COBRA coverage after you are already enrolled in Medicare:
You must be allowed to take the COBRA coverage. It will always be secondary to Medicare (unless you have ESRD). You may wish to take COBRA if you have very high medical expenses and your COBRA plan offers you generous extra benefits, like prescription drug coverage.
This week, Consumer Mojo, a website dedicated to providing the latest consumer news and information to help people make smart financial decisions, released an article covering a range of Medicare issues. From Medicare coverage choices to when you should enroll in Medicare and what each part of Medicare covers, this article offers timely Medicare information leading up to Fall Open Enrollment, which begins October 15.
The article features various Medicare experts, including Joe Baker, President of Medicare Rights; Diane Wenzler from Community Service Society; and Jennifer Cohen-Smith from United Healthcare. Also featured are the experiences of Mary Purcell, a Medicare beneficiary who called the Medicare Right helpline looking for help navigating her various Medicare choices.