Medicare Options for Illinois – Municipal and Fire Districts
Executive Summary: IPPFA conducted a review of options for Medicare supplemental coverage for fire and police retirees upon attaining age 65. We compared the typical cost of staying in the municipal (or fire district) plan and the options that are generally available to all Americans in the private insurance markets. Our findings are summarized below and detailed in this IPPFA Information Bulletin beginning on page 2.
The cost of remaining in the employer-based plan upon attaining age 65 is quite high. The average premium reported in a sampling of municipalities was $698 per month. Over the course of a male retiree’s lifetime, this premium will total $159,000 in today’s costs. For a married husband and wife, the cost is $340,000.
The most extensive Medicare supplement policy, Plan G, plus a standard Medicare prescription drug card will cost the same retiree $51,700 lifetime and $99,200 for a married husband and wife (all in today’s dollars). These costs can be reduced further by selecting other options or submitting to a high deductible.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is also an option. Most of these plans restrict the network of doctors which can be used but provide for additional cost savings.
We conclude that there are substantial, good coverage options that Medicare-covered retirees can use that will reduce their lifetime costs by a significant amount. To examine these possibilities, interested persons should read this IPPFA Information Bulletin and then reach out to a licensed agent for further information and assistance. Do not pursue other coverage by responding to direct mailings from insurance companies or calling the 1-800 number displayed on TV ads featuring a retired quarterback or Star Trek actor!
By: Daniel W. Ryan, Project Coordinator and Mary Kate Guy, Research Assistant
Approved: James McNamee, President, IPPFA March 1, 2022