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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
(Posted July 1, 2004)
Question 474: The cost of the railroad group policy is prohibitive for me. Can I drop that in favor of a standard Medicare Supplement insurance policy? Wouldn't such a policy cover costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B?
Answer: Before dropping your railroad group coverage, check with the insurance company to be sure that the premium is not reduced when you get Medicare. Most group plans reduce the premium because Medicare covers a portion of the medical costs. A few, like the federal government employees' group plan, retain the same premium but waive all deductibles and coinsurance charges (virtually eliminating any out-of-pocket costs).
Replacing your group insurance with a Medicare supplement could be cost-effective, though. You will need to carefully shop around, to see what's the best coverage for you.
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