Ingram Publishing
Slide 1 of 6
Coordination of benefits
When an employee turns 65, he becomes eligible for Medicare. In 2010, 39.6 million were enrolled in the government-run health care program because of age-eligibility at an average annual benefit of $11,762. Many employees' health insurance coverage may change when they become eligible, which is where a benefits administrator comes in. The sharing of costs can depend on how old the worker is, if they have a disability and the plan size. "We're expecting for this to become a growing issue," says Doug Goggin-Callahan, director of education at Medicare Rights Center. Because of the coupling of insurance coverage, employer-based insurance can sometimes become the secondary insurance, which is why it's so important for employees to know when to enroll — it can decrease claims and avoid future litigation. The first chance to enroll in Medicare comes in the seven-month period surrounding his 65th birthday, or his 25th month of Social Security. Employees also can enroll early for coverage to start the month they become eligible.