facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog external search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
5 Tips to De-Stress the Entrée Into Railroad Medicare Thumbnail

5 Tips to De-Stress the Entrée Into Railroad Medicare

Video Retirement Financial Planning


Learn these five ways to ease into Railroad Medicare.

Welcome, everyone, to another edition of the Highball Advisors Railroad Retirement Whiteboard. My name's John McNamara of Highball Advisors, and today we're going to talk about Medicare, specifically, Railroad Medicare. Right? We'll eventually all get there and we'll have to get onto Medicare. It's a great program. It relieves us of all those burdensome healthcare expenses as we age. And specifically for railroaders, you have Railroad Medicare, which is basically Medicare, but they put Railroad Medicare in front of it because the RRB contracts out with another provider to handle the billing and all the other customer service issues. I think it's Palmetto GBA is the name of the company. You can Google them. But it's Medicare, so everything, all the rules are all the same. So I thought I'd put the together these tips just to kind of give you a way to just... there's so much there, but just kind of take it easy for yourself, right? Don't worry about it so much. 

So, first thing is don't enroll in Railroad Medicare unless you need to. So if you're on railroad retirement already and you're going into 65, the RRB will automatically all you in Parts A and B. All right. Now, if you're working past 65, then you have some other options there. Right? You're going to want enroll in Part A, because there's no premium cost to that. But if you're already on health insurance somewhere else, you can look to defer Part B, all right, which is the monthly premium payment part. So, understand where you are in that cycle. Say, basically, if you're not working, you're going... and collect your annuity, you'll get into Railroad Medicare. If not, then you want to play around a little bit and see where you are on that. All right. 

Second thing is don't overthink it. This is a good one because there's a... If you go to medicare.gov, there's a booklet called Medicare and You. It's like 120 pages or so. It's nice, graphical and all that stuff. It's not all text. But if you read that and go through it and skim through it, you can really learn a lot about that. There's so much out there. You search the web and this article, that article. Well, all the experts, they all go to medicare.gov because that's where it is. So just read that booklet and that will give you a really nice head start versus banging on the computer looking for the right website and all that. 

Next thing is understand the two paths. So you're onto Medicare now and you have some options here, right? So you have your Parts A and B, which is original Medicare parts. Right now you can do a Part C, which would put you into Medicare Advantage. All right. Or you can get a Medigap policy, which works with A and B. So there's a lot of things you have to do there. Right? You have to understand what is the right strategy there. So understand that path and see which plan would work out best for you going that way. Medicare Advantage is cheaper, but Medigap might have better coverage. So learn those things. That's very, very important there, choosing that right path. Okay. 

And number four is use technology, which is great. Use technology. Listen, technology makes life so much better, so use it there. Right? So help you search out the right plans that you need when we're making that right path choice. Very important to use the technology, just makes life so much easier. 

And then finally the last one, just get a good Medicare guide. Once again, it's like finding that advice. Go interview two, three people, brokers that will help you, see what their business is. Maybe somebody who's just doing Medicare would probably be the right person versus maybe somebody who's doing Medicare and then might have other financial products they're trying to sell you, that type of thing. So just get a good Medicare guide, somebody will help you that you know is going to be there all the time. And you want to contact them a couple months before retirement, right? You don't want to have these discussions overnight. Three months probably before you turn 65, good time to go out and start searching for people.

So I hope you found this helpful. This is just five tips, just kind of ease into Railroad Medicare, very important piece. Healthcare is one of the basic expenses you're going to have in retirement, so you want to make sure you get this part right. Feel free to reach out out to me, if you have any more discussions, you want to talk about it. I'm more than willing to help you, guide you in the right direction. No worries about that.  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Click on the notifications to get the latest video as that drops. Share this, getting close to 2000, excited about that. Until next time, everyone, please stay safe, stay on track and take care. So long, everybody. Bye.

Get Free Railroad Retirement Assessment

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. Highball Advisors encourages you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved.from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved.