Q & A

I am about to turn 65. I work for a state university in Kansas with a good group health plan. I don’t plan to retire. I spoke with our benefits office and with Social Security. The only benefit to signing up for Medicare Part A appears to be that it could pay part of a deductible for a hospital stay. Here’s my question: How high does my employer’s deductible need to be to make joining Medicare Part A worthwhile? How do I make the appropriate cost-benefit calculation?

Answer: It’s not clear from your question whether you do or do not pay Social Security payroll taxes for your job. However, in either case, there’s really no cost-benefit analysis required. If you are not qualified to someday claim Social Security benefits, it means you would need to pay Part A premiums. Thus, the key number here is not the annual Part A deductible, but the steep premium for Part A, which is likely to be $407 a month. For this price, there is no way Part A makes sense for you. Read more…

Source: Philip Moeller, via www.pbs.org, 8/12/2015)

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