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GIC Medicare Guideline - When to Enroll in Medicare.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for retirees age 65 or older and certain disabled people. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, some skilled nursing facility care and hospice care. Medicare Part B covers physician care, diagnostic x-rays and lab tests, and durable medical equipment. Medicare Part D is a federal prescription drug program.
This depends on your employment status with the state or a participating GIC municipality:
If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B within the required time, or cancel Part B and re-enroll at a later date, you will be required to pay federal government penalties. Also, you may be ineligible for health coverage through the GIC.
Your spouse should visit Social Security’s website or your local Social Security Office for confirmation of Social Security and Medicare eligibility. If eligible for Part A for free, he/she must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B to continue coverage with the GIC through a GIC Medicare supplemental plan. See the under/over age 65 section of the Benefit Decision Guide, available on our website, for your health plan combination options. This information is also included in the Medicare Plan enrollment package that will be mailed to your spouse.
If you or your spouse is disabled and receiving Social Security disability benefits, Social Security will automatically enroll you or your spouse in Medicare Part A and Part B on the 25th month of receiving benefits; contact Social Security about Medicare-eligibility. If eligible, contact the GIC at 617.727.2310 ext. 6 to request a Medicare Plan enrollment package.
You may still be eligible for Medicare benefits. For example, if you are married, you may be eligible for Medicare through your spouse. When you turn age 65, visit Social Security’s website or call Social Security to apply. If you are not eligible for Medicare, the GIC will require a copy of your Denial Letter from the Social Security Administration that you are not eligible and you will remain in a GIC non-Medicare health plan.
The premium is set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Contact Medicare (1.800.633.4227) for the current premium cost.
In most cases, the federal government will deduct the Medicare Part B premium from your monthly Social Security check. If you or your spouse is not eligible for a Social Security check, the federal government will bill you quarterly for the Medicare Part B premium.
You (or your covered spouse) will not be eligible for a GIC Medicare Supplemental Plan until you (or your covered spouse) are eligible for Medicare Part A for free. You (or your covered spouse) will remain in a non-Medicare GIC plan.
If you cancel or do not pay Medicare Part B, the GIC is required to terminate your GIC health coverage. This would mean that you would only have Medicare Part A coverage for inpatient hospital care. You would no longer have coverage for:
If you wanted to later reinstate your Medicare Part B coverage, you would be subject to federal late enrollment penalties and would have to wait for Medicare’s January through March enrollment period followed by the GIC’s spring annual enrollment period to get back into a GIC health plan. So, consider the consequences before you cancel or don’t pay Medicare Part B.
“Medicare only” coverage is not recommended as it has coverage limitations. To ensure comprehensive coverage, Medicare retirees should enroll in a Medicare health plan sponsored by the GIC as a supplement to their Medicare coverage.
Medicare as a “stand alone” insurance does not provide comprehensive or complete coverage. It is not recommended. See previous question for details.
Indicate your GIC Medicare plan options and fill in your Medicare Claim Number on the form, sign and return by the date noted on the form.
If you and/or your spouse are over age 65 and not eligible for Medicare we will need the following documentation:
Social Security Denial Letter stating that you and/or your spouse is not eligible for Medicare Part A for free.
The GIC determines the Medicare Plan effective date based on receipt of completed forms. The effective date of a GIC Medicare Advantage Plan (Fallon Senior Plan and Tufts Medicare Preferred) is determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Once you are enrolled, you will receive an ID card from your Medicare health plan.
Your spouse will continue to be covered under in a GIC non-Medicare plan if he/she is under age 65 until he or she becomes eligible for Medicare. You and your spouse must join the same health plan. See the Benefit Decision Guide for under and over age 65 health plan combination options. If your spouse is over age 65, he/she must enroll in the same Medicare supplemental plan that you have joined.
You or your spouse must notify the GIC in writing when you become eligible for Medicare Part A. The GIC will notify you of your coverage options. Failure to do this may result in loss of GIC coverage.
Keep in mind that Medicare’s rules allow you to buy Part B at age 65, even if you are not eligible for free Medicare Part A. If your spouse is at least age 62 when you approach age 65, you may be eligible for free Part A due to your spouse’s eligibility. Under Medicare’s rules, failure to apply for Part B when you become eligible may mean a penalty for late enrollment. Contact Social Security for details.
The GIC does not require you to enroll in Medicare Part B if you are not eligible for Medicare Part A for free. However, if you may be eligible for Medicare Part A in the future (for example, you have a younger spouse) you may want to enroll in Part B to avoid a Medicare penalty later on. Contact Social Security for details.
Because you have health insurance through the GIC as a retiree, you will be enrolling a GIC Medicare plan to continue coverage.
When receiving services at a hospital or doctor, present your GIC health plan card (not your Medicare card) to ensure that your GIC health plan is charged for the visit. If you are still working and are age 65 or over, your GIC health plan is your primary health insurance provider; Medicare (if you have it) is secondary. You may need to explain this to your provider if he/she asks for your Medicare card.
You must call Medicare at 1.800.633.4227 to correct the coordination of benefits.
When you retire at age 65 or over or if you (the insured) are retired and turn age 65/or your covered spouse turns age 65, the GIC will send you approximately three months before the 65th birthday a Medicare enrollment package that includes information about your health plan options.
Complete and return the Medicare Plan Enrollment form the GIC sends to you when you retire and you and/or your spouse is age 65 or over or when you are retired and you or your covered spouse turns age 65. Be sure to return the completed form by the due date indicated on the form. If enrolling in Harvard Medicare Enhance, Health New England MedPlus, Tufts Medicare Complement or UniCare Indemnity Plan/Medicare Extension (OME), you must also complete and return the Medicare Part D Opt-in Form.
You may only change your GIC Medicare plan during the GIC’s spring annual enrollment period or if you move out of a GIC HMO Medicare plan's service area.
Complete and return to the GIC a Retiree/Survivor Enrollment and Change Form (Form-RS). Changes can also be made at a GIC health fair.
Using the rate section of our website, add the following:
For an insured and spouse on Medicare
Find the premium for the Medicare plan in which you are enrolling and double it for your monthly rate.
For a Retiree and Spouse Coverage if Under and Over Age 65
1. Find the premium for the Medicare Plan in which the Medicare retiree or spouse will be enrolling
2. Find the individual coverage premium for the Non-Medicare Plan in which the Non-Medicare retiree or spouse will be enrolling.
3. Add the two premiums together; this is what you will pay monthly.
For other coverage combinations, contact the GIC at 617.727.2310 ext. 6.
No. For most GIC Medicare enrollees, the drug coverage you currently have through your GIC health plan is a better value than a basic Medicare Part D drug plan. Therefore, you should not enroll in a non-GIC Medicare Part D plan.
The Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP) is the amount that Medicare requires a person to pay if he/she:
• Did not enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan when first eligible for Medicare; or
• Did not have creditable prescription drug coverage – coverage at least as good as Medicare’s standard plan; or
• Had a break in coverage of more than 63 consecutive days.
The GIC’s retiree prescription drug coverage meets or exceeds the Medicare Part D coverage standard and is therefore considered creditable coverage. See your health plan handbook on your plan’s or the GIC’s website for a Creditable Coverage notice.
Note that if you decide to enroll in a non-GIC Medicare Part D plan that cancels your GIC coverage, you may be responsible for the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty if you later wish to re-enroll in GIC Part D coverage.
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