Obamacare: Comparing options for family, when Dad joins Medicare

I’ll be turning 65 next month, though I will still be working.  If I drop out of my employer’s plan, it appears that my wife cannot be covered.   If I stay on the plan, I will be paying around $850 per month for family coverage. Would it make sense to keep my employer plan or to drop it and buy her coverage separately?  Our household income is around $63,000 and we have a 13-year-old daughter.

Sharp Shopper

Dear Sharp Shopper,

If you drop your employer’s plan, you will need to pay for your Medicare Part B.  Let’s keep this in mind as we compare your options.

It’s possible that covering your wife and daughter, and your Medicare Part B will cost less than $850 per month.  With a $63,000 per year income and a household of three people, you are at approximately 330% of Federal Poverty.  This means that you would get a small subsidy to pay for their insurance.  You would pay 9.5% of your income for their coverage, or just under $6,000 a year, $500 a month for a Silver plan.

The $500 or so for their coverage plus $105 for your Medicare Part B premium means that it would be a bit cheaper to drop your employer plan.  This does not take into account that the Silver plan might have higher deductible or higher copays than your current employer plan.

In short, it’s worth shopping and comparing your options.  You might come out a couple hundred dollars per month ahead!


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.