How To Help Clients Navigate Healthcare Decisions For Retirement

April 15, 2021


“There are so many options—how do I decide?” my 67-year-old and soon-to-retire friend asked. “And how much will all of this cost?” she asked. My friend is correct: Deciding on a Medicare plan can be challenging. And the cost can be a factor.


Medicare provides healthcare coverage for most retirees. Individuals typically are eligible through their Social Security benefit records. Coverage also is available for spouses, ex-spouses, and survivors.

Here are three questions that can help financial professionals guide clients as they navigate through making their Medicare decisions.

  1. When to enroll? Medicare is for those ages 65 and older (as well as those who are disabled or have end-stage renal failure). Individuals are eligible to enroll at age 65. If an individual has claimed Social Security benefits, enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic, but enrollees must sign up for Medicare Parts B, D, and Medigap, or for Medicare Advantage. If an individual is still working, it may make sense to wait, especially if the individual is contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

  2. What are the options? There are two Medicare coverage options: Original Medicare (usually accompanied by Part D and a Medigap plan, a fee-for-service program), and Medicare Advantage (Part C), HMO or PPO options provided through private insurance. Each enrollee decides which coverage might work best for his/her circumstances.

  3. How much is it? Medicare Part A is free for most enrollees. Parts B, D, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage have premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. The cost of coverage will depend on the plan elected. Those with higher incomes are affected by the IRMAA (the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) and pay more.

Plus, retirees who travel the U.S. or have summer/winter homes should make sure the plan they elect provides coverage in all locations. Medicare offers very limited protection for international travelers, so most need additional specific coverage.

With the help of a financial professional, my friend evaluated the options. The outcome: a plan that will work well for her specific situation. Now, my friend has a date set and is ready to enjoy retirement!


This material is educational and intended for an audience with financial services knowledge.


For more information on retirement-planning strategies, please contact the Retirement Strategies Group at (800) 722-2333, or email us at


Picture of Pacific Life Annuities

Pacific Life offers a broad and diversified range of products and solutions designed to help individuals and families achieve asset growth, sustainable retirement income, and long-term financial independence. We also help businesses manage and fulfill their long-term retirement plan commitments to employees.

Pacific Life, its distributors, and respective representatives do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. Any taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor or attorney.

Pacific Life is a product provider. It is not a fiduciary and therefore does not give advice or make recommendations regarding insurance or investment products.

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products are issued by Pacific Life Insurance Company in all states except New York and in New York by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. 

Variable insurance products are distributed by Pacific Select Distributors, LLC (member FINRA & SIPC), a subsidiary of Pacific Life Insurance Company (Newport Beach, CA) and an affiliate of Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Variable and fixed annuity products are available through licensed third parties.

No bank guarantee • Not a deposit • Not FDIC/NCUA insured • May lose value • Not insured by any federal government agency

For financial professional use only. Not for use with the public.