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Keep Medicare Informed If Your Coverage Changes

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Over time, of course, your insurance coverage may change. If any changes may affect the way Medicare fits in with other insurance — for example, if you stop work or otherwise lose coverage from a current employer — you should contact Medicare.

Call the Medicare Coordination of Benefits Contractor (COBC) to ensure that these new circumstances are recorded in your file. (Medicare will determine whether they mean a different entity is now your primary payer.)

The COBC is also available for you to ask any questions about your coverage and how it fits in with Medicare. Call toll-free 800-999-1118. Here are some examples of coverage change:

  • When Diana filled out her Initial Enrollment Questionnaire at age 65, she was still working for a medium-sized company that had more than 20 workers. Therefore, her employer plan was primary and Medicare secondary.

    On her retirement a couple of years later, she accepted the retiree health benefits her employer offered her. Under Medicare rules, Medicare now became the primary payer and her retiree benefits secondary.

  • Colin’s Medicare benefits began at age 57 because of his disabilities. His wife, Marlisse, worked for a large company (with more than 100 employees), and her employer health plan covered him. This plan became Colin’s primary insurance, and Medicare was secondary.

    But a few years later, Marlisse changed her job, working for a smaller company with only 40 workers. Because Colin was under 65 and covered by insurance from an employer with fewer than 100 workers, under the rules Colin’s Medicare then became his primary payer, and the employer plan became secondary.

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