Employer cannot drop 65-year-olds from plan

I am 60 and my husband will be 65 in Nov. He will be going on medicare. He is currently still working and I am on his employer health plan. Which will stop when he gets the medicare. His income is $55,000 a year. I receive $13,000 a year from a company pension. Total $68,000. I will need insurance. Do we use total income or just my income.?? Thank you.

Anna in West Virginia

Dear Anna,

If your husband continues to work, his employer will not (cannot legally) take away the group health plan. So, when you say his group plan will stop when he gets Medicare, I am puzzled. Does he plan to drop the coverage voluntarily? He would be allowed to drop out, but it may be more expensive to pay for his Medicare Part B ($104.90 per month in 2014/2015) and your coverage too.

I would suggest confirming with your husband’s employer what will happen to his group plan coverage after he turns 65. If they say he will be dropped, you can get help from the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Services division. There are federal rules that prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based upon their age and their eligibility for Medicare.

In answer to your question about income, your total household income would be $68,000. Here is the Affordable Care Act’s definition of income. Assuming that you have only the two of you in the household, your income is higher than 400% of Federal Poverty and you would not qualify for any subsidies to buy your insurance.

I hope that is helpful and good luck!

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.