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Is there anything Medicare-age retirees must do in order to join GIC health coverage?
Yes. If they are not already enrolled in Medicare, Medicare age retirees (65 years and older) must contact their local Social Security Office to determine if they are eligible to join Medicare. They may be eligible due to their own work history or through a spouse.
All retirees age 65 years and older who seek to join GIC health coverage must obtain a letter from the Social Security Administration stating whether they are or are not Medicare eligible, and they must give a copy of the letter to the Municipal Employer. If they are Medicare eligible but not enrolled, they must enroll in Medicare during the next federal government open enrollment period. They must enroll in Medicare before the following July 1 in order to have GIC coverage at that time. Medicare annual enrollment runs from January 1 to March 31 of each year.
We have not adopted the local option in Chapter 32B requiring all Medicare-eligible retirees to join Medicare. Do our Medicare-eligible subscribers need to enroll in Medicare before joining the GIC?
Yes. As of July 1, 2011, the question of whether to require Medicare-eligible retirees to join the GIC is no longer a matter of local option, but is generally mandated. An exception in c. 32B, § 18A for retirees with non-Medicare eligible family members does not apply to communities that have opted to transfer subscribers to the GIC. All retirees, spouses, and dependents insured or eligible to be insured under chapter 32B must enroll in Medicare Part B if they are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A for free.
What other documents relevant to Medicare will over-65 retirees and spouses need to provide?
In the context of Section 19 and Section 23, immediately after providing notice of intention to join the GIC coverage, Municipal Employers must contact their retirees who are 65 years or older to inform them that:
The Federal Government’s open annual enrollment period for Medicare Part B begins January 1 and ends March 31 for health coverage effective July 1.
Who must pay the Medicare Part B premium penalty, if any, for persons enrolling in Medicare Part B?
By law, Municipal Employers must pay any Part B premium penalty assessed by the federal government on the retiree, spouse, or dependent as a result of enrollment in Medicare Part B at the time of transfer.