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Retiree Health Plan After Death of Retiree-Spouse Coverage?
Old 12-12-2015, 03:57 PM   #1
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Retiree Health Plan After Death of Retiree-Spouse Coverage?

I have elderly parents. They have retiree health insurance based on my Father's former employment. Of course, they also have Medicare Parts A and B.

Does anyone know whether it is required that the policy continue for my Mother, should my Father predecease her? It would be financially prohibitive for my Mother to obtain a medicare supplement policy at her age should the retiree coverage end for her.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Youngster View Post
I have elderly parents. They have retiree health insurance based on my Father's former employment. Of course, they also have Medicare Parts A and B.

Does anyone know whether it is required that the policy continue for my Mother, should my Father predecease her? It would be financially prohibitive for my Mother to obtain a medicare supplement policy at her age should the retiree coverage end for her.
You'll have to look at the policy or call HR at your father's former employer to determine whether it will continue in force for your mother if your father predeceases her.

You should also check the Medicare site to determine if your mother would be granted an opportunity to buy a supplement after your father's death and if his insurance does not go on to cover your mother. Termination of the policy for your mother may cause an "open enrollement period" to begin for your mother. But, I'm not sure and I don't have time to do the research for you right now.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, youbet. I was wondering if there was some kind of legal mandate with regard to the policy continuing for my Mother.
Also, I think (not sure) that she may be able to get the Medicare supplement; but, I think it would be too high priced for her to afford at her age. I will research that issue more fully if the retiree policy does not continue for her in the event of her outliving my Father.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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I have elderly parents. They have retiree health insurance based on my Father's former employment. Of course, they also have Medicare Parts A and B.

Does anyone know whether it is required that the policy continue for my Mother, should my Father predecease her? It would be financially prohibitive for my Mother to obtain a medicare supplement policy at her age should the retiree coverage end for her.
Medicare supplement aren't really that expensive...have you looked into how much they cost? Sounds like things might be very tight for a remaining spouse if that insurance is prohibitively expensive.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for your response, ivinsfan. It looks like we posted at the same time. Please refer to my response above.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:22 PM   #6
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Thanks, youbet. I was wondering if there was some kind of legal mandate with regard to the policy continuing for my Mother.
I don't think so. In fact, if your father's employer wanted, I believe they could cut off the policy at any time, even while your father is alive, unless there is some sort of contractual guarantee. Is this in the private or public sector?
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Also, I think (not sure) that she may be able to get the Medicare supplement; but, I think it would be too high priced for her to afford at her age. I will research that issue more fully if the retiree policy does not continue for her in the event of her outliving my Father.
You're probably talking about $150/mo to $300/mo (depending on age) for an F supplement. Would that fit in her budget? Would your father's pension continue at 100% or some reduced amount after his death?
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:30 PM   #7
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I don't think so. In fact, if your father's employer wanted, I believe they could cut off the policy at any time unless there is some sort of contractual guarantee. You're probably talking about $200/mo (depending on age) for a supplement. Would that fit in her budget? Would your father's pension continue at 100% or some reduced amount after his death?
I guess I was wrong on the price. $200.00 would be easily afforded in light of the fact they are paying around $300 for the current retiree health policy.

You raise a good point on the pension issue also. On my pension, my spouse is a 100% contingent annuitant. I am hoping his is the same. I have my Father looking for his paperwork to make that determination. May end up calling the former employer on Monday anyways if he can't find the paperwork.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:35 PM   #8
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Here's your answer (guess I did have time). Looks like my guess was pretty accurate. We all get lucky once in a while.......

Will my health coverage be affected if my spouse dies? - Ultimate Guide to Retirement

Quote:
Medicare is not affected at all; each Medicare recipient has individual coverage through the program. The same is true with private Medigap policies.

However, if you received health care benefits as part of your spouse's retirement package from a former employer, your coverage may be affected. It is up to the plan to set guidelines for coverage of surviving spouses. Check with the plan administrator for details.
Also note I changed my estimate for the cost of a F Supplement for your mother from $200/mo to $150 to $300/mo since cost varies considerably by age and I have no idea of her age. But you need to determine if she will be guaranteed access to a supplement if your father's policy does not continue.

Yeah, if you want to understand the entire picture you need to know what happens to SS, pension and HI. I'd go ahead and do that if I were you. It won't be hard and you'll avoid being surprised.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:41 PM   #9
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But you need to determine if she will be guaranteed access to a supplement if your father's policy does not continue.
It is guaranteed issue (involuntary termination of plan). Medigaps also require a separate Part D plan at small additional premium.

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In most cases, you have a guaranteed issue right when you have other health coverage that changes in some way, like when you lose the other health care coverage.

You have a guaranteed issue right (which means an insurance company can’t refuse to sell you a Medigap policy) in these situations:

You have Original Medicare and an employer group health plan (including retiree coverage) that pays after Medicare pays and that plan is ending. You have the right to buy Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold by any insurance company in your state.
Reference: https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-...cenarios.html#
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:06 PM   #10
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Thanks, youbet and MBSC. I will call on Monday to see.
As to SS, please correct me if I am wrong; but, wouldn't my Mother get the higher of the 2 SS benefits, that being my Father's and lose the lower, that being hers?
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:53 PM   #11
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Thanks, youbet and MBSC. I will call on Monday to see.
As to SS, please correct me if I am wrong; but, wouldn't my Mother get the higher of the 2 SS benefits, that being my Father's and lose the lower, that being hers?
That's an affirmative.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:24 PM   #12
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Thanks, harley.
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