Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,201
Registered: ‎10-16-2020

Re: Trying to understand Medicare - COBRA wording

I would like to add our personal experience and hope it helps others.


My husband retired from a large corporation past the age of 65 and I was on his medical insurance.  His HR dept was on the ball and without us having to ask provided the necessary proof in his exit package that is required by Medicare that we had the acceptable level of coverage complete with our start dates and ending dates that we had to bring with us to the Social Security Office for without it we would have been charged a penalty....a lifetime penalty when we applied for Part B. Remember, Part B is not free and one has to pay a monthly premium for it that is automatically removed from your social security each month and then there is a one time per year deductible that has to be met.  We had to pay for the first installment of the premium because we were also signing up for Social Security.


Since we wanted a seamless transition with no gaps in medical coverage for both of us, we took this proof of coverage in person instead of mailing it or faxing.  We had to show our social security cards, our driver's license and I had to bring my proof of marriage that fortunately I had saved all those years....yes the process was very annoying and not going to sugar coat it....stressful.  But glad we took care of it in person!


When our time with the Social Security rep was completed we were told we would get a determination letter in approximately 2 weeks which was more like 5 weeks and at that time could choose a supplement that paid our 20%.  Since the goal was to have a seamless transition without having to go on Cobra I created an account on the Medicare website for each of us and within a very short time (around 48 hrs) our status appeared and we were now ready and approved to obtain a supplement.  It was not necessary to wait for the snail mail.


We chose the company we wanted to do business with as well as the plan and our sign up was seamless exactly as we hoped.  Note.. We are not advantage plan advocates mostly because there are no good ones where we live plus we wanted the freedom to choose our doctor including the out of state option.  We know people that chose advantage plans who had huge out of pocket expense after they were hosptialized.  One started a gofundme and the sad thing was it was her church friends that ended up contributing because no one else knew her and no one was without their own family, children and expenses, etc etc etc.  Feeling obligagted to contrbute when they had their own to worry about was unfair.