It’s common for me to come across people who are a bit scared of joining Medicare. These people typically love their current employer’s health insurance and are delaying retirement because they don’t want to join Medicare.

I am here to assure you that Medicare can be fantastic for you.

Instead of delaying Medicare because you are worried about joining Medicare, you need to decide based on what is best for your unique situation.

Medicare horror stories work both ways.

You have likely heard stories about people spending a significant amount of money on their health care costs while on Medicare. These situations usually stem from people choosing a plan that they didn’t fully understand or one that didn’t fit their unique needs.

We also hear from people that have chosen to stay with their employer group plan after 65 and are suddenly facing huge bills and penalties.

I recently had a call from a woman who stayed on her employer plan past 65 because she assumed it was better than Medicare. She had made that decision based on speaking to someone at Medicare directly. Come to find out now, at age 67, she is facing some serious health issues, and her employer group plan is denying her claims since Medicare should have been paying primary.

She was not told the correct information as she did her Medicare research and it led her to make the wrong Medicare decision since she was on an employer plan that did not meet Medicare’s rules. She is now facing medical bills in excess of $20,000.

That’s why deciding between your employer insurance and joining Medicare must be based on what is best for your unique situation.

Of the clients that come to us with employer plans that they want to compare to Medicare, it is about a 50/50 split between those who are actually better off staying on their employer plan versus those who can get better coverage and cheaper premiums moving to Medicare right away.

Clients are often surprised with the great coverage that Medicare can provide when we help them choose the right plan, and get excited to find that Medicare won’t cost them as much as they anticipated.  Many find several hundred or even thousands of dollars in premium and out-of-pocket savings as they leave employer plans when we assist them with a comparison.

Medicare nightmares definitely do exist, but they can easily be avoided by getting the right information from the right sources.

If you choose to stay on your employer plan after you turn 65, please be sure it meets Medicare rules, and make sure it is cheaper than what Medicare offers. If you choose to go on Medicare, be sure it checks all of the boxes and provides you the best health care options now as well as in the future.

Many factors go into making your Medicare decision, and it is one of the most important decisions you will make in retirement.