What is COBRA coverage?

If a retiree is in need of health insurance coverage and not yet 65 and not eligible for Medicaid, COBRA coverage may be obtained if the former employer was using COBRA insurance at the time of retirement. Once a retiree turns 63 ½, COBRA can be used for 18 months until the retiree becomes eligible for Medicare. Before enrolling in COBRA, the retiree needs to be aware that COBRA is time-limited and expensive.

Those who enroll in COBRA may be required to pay the total cost of insurance premiums out of their own pocket. This includes any amount that they retirees company pays for any active employee and a 2 percent fee for administration. If a company goes bankrupt, the retiree will lose their COBRA insurance coverage. Discover more about COBRA insurance coverage, visit here http://benistar2015.blogspot.com/

What are some other ways to remain covered under health insurance coverage if I retire early?

If a person is considering retirement before age 65 and concerned about health insurance coverage, there are several ways to remain covered. If a spouse is working, a retired worker may be able to get insurance coverage through the spouses’ employer. Generally, a request for enrollment will be needed within 30 days of loss of health plan eligibility. In most cases, group coverage will cost less than individual coverage. If looking for individual insurance, a retiree needs to shop around carefully.

Price will vary depending on premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, co-pays, annual premium increases, and the amount of out-of-pocket amounts an insurer has to pay. Price shouldn’t be the only factor in a decision. A family’s health history can be useful in determining which plan is most beneficial. When making an important decision concerning health insurance coverage, the experts at Benistar can guide you in choosing the best plan to fit your individual needs. Get information here: http://benistar1.flavors.me/

What is the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program?

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is part of the federal healthcare reform law that allows those people who have retired but are not eligible for Medicare to receive retirement insurance benefits. Retirees may experience an increase in out-of-pocket costs or even terminate health benefits for retirees.

In an attempt to encourage companies to continue and maintain healthcare coverage for those who retire early, the healthcare reform bill will reimburse employers for skyrocketing healthcare costs for those falling between retirement who are age 55 and older and are not eligible for Medicare. Under this section of the law, more than 5,000 employers have enrolled in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. More than $535 million has been collected from the federal government. Read and learn more at https://benistarinc.wordpress.com/

Can I obtain retiree health insurance before I am 65?

Some people can retire before age 65. This leads to the question of eligibility for health insurance coverage. There are several ways to obtain health insurance coverage until you are eligible for Medicare. Since this is one of the biggest hurdles to retiring before age 65, finding affordable health insurance can take a huge amount of time and effort. Private health insurance can also be very expensive for those not covered under Medicare.

Unfortunately, in 2010, less than 30 percent of large firms offered health insurance for their former employees. For small firms, only a mere 3 percent offer retirement health plans. The good news is that recently, laws have been passed to reimburse employers for the higher cost of healthcare for those who fall in between retirement and Medicare eligibility. This part of the healthcare reform law is called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. Visit at http://mashable.com/follow/people/benistar to get more details.

What if the Language in my Summary Plan Description (SPD) is conflicting or ambiguous?

If a retiree is promised certain health plan benefits, it should be spelled out in clear language. Benefit plan documents can be confusing in their language and not easy to interpret. If the language is not clear, an employer has the right to change the benefits that are contained in any part of the documents. Even if the employer changes or cancels health benefits, and the case goes to court, the retiree may not win.

If there is not precise, clear language in the plan document, or if the document contains general language allowing the employer to change or cancel the health benefit plan, an employer may have the right to change the benefits of the retiree. However, some courts have enforced clear promise language contained in an SPD. If you are confused about the ambiguity of any language in your retiree health benefit documents, the experts at Benistar have a team of experts who can help you understand the language contained in your SPD. Get more information here: http://seekingalpha.com/user/40793205/profile

What type of language do I need to look for in my retirement health benefits coverage documents to ensure that I will continue to be covered under my employer health insurance?

Many employers offer health insurance to retirees. However, many people are unaware that an employer does not have to continue those benefits for the life of the retiree unless it is explicitly stated in documents provided to the retiree.

For example, a Summary Plan Description (SPD) is provided to all retirees who are to receive continued health coverage. But, if it states that basic health care coverage is provided for the remained of your lifetime, the vagueness of this statement allows the employer to change or even terminate an entire plan. Stronger language ensures retirees that changes cannot be made or benefits terminated such as: “XYZ Company will not revoke, suspend, modify, change, or terminate any portion of the health benefit plan provided to the retiree.” Know more here: https://www.crunchbase.com/user/307698

What should I look for in my retirement health benefit plan documents?

First, check all health benefit plan documents with certain questions in mind. Such as, does the Summary Plan Description (SPD) or any other plan document state that the health benefits provided will continue after retirement at a certain level for a specified period of time? If it is not specifically stated in certain language describing retiree health benefits in any plan document provided to the retiree, then the assumption is that guaranteed coverage is unlikely.

Ask an employer where to locate this exact language in the SPD. If there is language pertaining to continuing coverage, specify how it is written. Sometimes vague language pertaining to health benefit coverage will not stand up to the litmus test in courts. The retirement benefits experts at Benistar can review any SPD documents and answer any questions you may have concerning your continuing retirement benefits. Get information here: https://plus.google.com/b/107231365521835060653/107231365521835060653

Can the coverage of my retirement health benefit plan change after I retire?

Yes! Employers have the right to change or cancel retirement health benefits if it is stated in a Summary Plan Description (SPD) that is provided to all retirees no later than 90 days after retirement. However, if an employer has made it clear to the retiree that specific health care benefits will be provided for a definite period of time, and it is not clearly stated in the SPD or any formal written plan document, that those benefits can be changed or cancelled, then under the law, the employer has to honor his commitment and provide the specified health care benefit to the retiree.

It is important to understand exactly what is stated in the SPD in order to know whether or not the employer has the right to terminate or change health benefit plans. Gather more information here: https://www.facebook.com/BenistarInc

What is the best way to understand the terms of an employer-provided retiree health benefit plan?

The first step in understanding the terms to any retiree health benefit plan is to review the plan documents. A summary of terms of the plan should be listed in the Summary Plan Description (SPD). Under law, employers are required under law to provide all retirees a copy within 90 days of retirement. Save a copy of this important document.

Any changes made to the SPD should also be saved because these changes could affect benefits after retirement. There may also be written documents outlining how a health plan is operated. Collective bargaining agreements or insurance contracts may be included. Looking for more details, just view here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/benistar-administrative-services-inc.

Can the Retiree Health Benefits Provided By Your Employer Be Cut?

Many people are concerned about the cost of health care. Maintaining health coverage after retirement is an important aspect to consider. While some employees are fortunate to belong to health care plans that roll over to their retirement, some are not. Those that are provided health care coverage by their employers need to realize that under federal law, employers are not required to provide health care coverage for retirees.

Furthermore, if employers do provide health benefits, under current law, they still may cut or eliminate those benefits unless they have made a promise to maintain those benefits. Security of health care benefits is not guaranteed or promised under the law. This news is shocking and disturbing to many facing retirement. Reviewing your plan and asking questions are necessary in order to prevent loss of benefits. Let the experts at Benistar assist you in choosing the best insurance policy to fit your needs.

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About Benistar:

Benistar is a nationwide leader in the design, installation and administration of post-65 group retiree medical benefits. Our thousands of clients have thousands of satisfied seniors receiving the care they need. Medicare Part D and WESP plans.

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