S.O.S. – Speaking of Seniors- Transitioning insurance to Medicare not always seamless

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on August 08, 2019 with No Comments

When Medicare does not get a report from an employer about the termination of group insurance coverage, it causes problems for the senior.

About every week, I have to help a senior citizen who just retired and expected a seamless transition from employer group health insurance coverage to Medicare.  When that does not happen, often the senior will blame our agency for the problem.

But such problems are usually caused by either the former employer not sending a termination of group health coverage document to Medicare or Medicare losing that document or Medicare taking its time to update the senior’s Medicare file.

In July of 2019, I helped a client who had a very unusual circumstance.  His group health insurance was terminated when his wife retired from her employment on July 1, 2018.  At the same time, a group health insurance provided by his former employer started.  But he did not know about it.  So he came to us and bought a Medicare supplement policy through our agency.

Medicare records were not updated about the termination of the group health insurance coverage from his wife’s former employer.  So, when he discovered a problem and came to me for help, Medicare records still showed that his primary health insurance was a policy that he had not had for over a year.  Also, Medicare records showed that he had three secondary insurers which were (1) Medicare, (2) insurance provided by his former employer for his retirement, and (3) the Medicare supplement policy that he bought through our agency.  His medical claims were really messed and not getting paid.

It took three meetings with him and some phone calls to uncover all the problems and start to correct the Medicare record to get his claims handled properly. He told me how much he appreciated my work and the free service that our agency provides to our clients to help correct errors in the Medicare system like this one.

If you are a senior citizen and use an insurance agency that does not give this high level of customer service, shouldn’t you switch to an insurance agency that does?

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