Can You Stay on a Company Health Plan After Age 65?
Generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older—this is well-known. What is less well-known is the fact that some companies can legally cancel group health insurance for a worker reaching this milestone. Baby boomers who aspire to keep working into their mid-60s may want to take note of this.
The key factor here is the size of the workplace. A business with fewer than 20 employees can choose to:
- Stop group health coverage for workers at age 65; or,
- Let employees stay on the plan with the recognition that Medicare benefits will take precedence over group coverage.
When a company has 20 or more employees, it has a legal responsibility to offer the same group health insurance to all workers, regardless of how old or young they are. That said, the employer may require employees to work a certain number of hours per week to maintain their group health benefits; if an employee cannot meet that criterion, then eligibility for group health coverage may be lost.
Baby Boomer Trend: Scaling Back on Sweets
Roughly half of baby boomers are cutting down on their sugar consumption, according to the findings of a new white paper from Innova Market Insights (IMI), a food and beverage industry research firm.
Innova reports that about 40% of Americans born during 1946–64 say they are reducing the amount of sweet snacks they eat. This dietary shift is not exclusive to baby boomers. In 2017, per-capita consumption of sugar and caloric sweeteners fell for the third straight year in the U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration notes that sugar accounts for about 13% of daily caloric intake in this country, so lessening the amount consumed per day is wise given sugar’s link to diabetes and its association with weight gain and obesity.
As IMI notes, boomers go lightly on ice cream, desserts, candy bars, and chocolate compared with other age groups. But they consume more bakery treats, breakfast cereals, and yogurt, all of which can contain sizable levels of sugar.
Manufacturers are taking notice and rolling out low-sugar yogurts, cereals, and baked goods in response to changing diets and changing times.
On the Bright Side
In its 2019 How America Saves study, investment manager Vanguard notes that the average workplace retirement plan account grew by about 4% in 2018, even with the S&P 500 having a negative year. Increased participant contributions were a big factor.
Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Lighthouse Financial, LLC., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Lighthouse Financial, LLC., are not affiliated.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.
1 – nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/need-know-working-retirement [6/4/19]
2 – fooddive.com/news/half-of-baby-boomers-are-limiting-sugar-consumption-study-finds/555495 [5/30/19]
3 – cnbc.com/2019/06/12/americas-retirement-accounts-are-growing-but-not-fast-enough.html [6/12/19]