The No. 1 question the UFT receives from retirees who call the union is, "How do I sign up for Medicare?"
The UFT provides detailed information about the Medicare enrollment process for members turning 65 in the Retiree Teachers Chapter section on the union website. A Zoom meeting this fall designed to provide a step-by-step answer to the question for both in-service and retiree members who are 64 attracted 393 participants.
The following information should help clarify the enrollment process.
In applying for Medicare, there are four scenarios:
- Turning 65 and In-Service: When you turn 65, you must apply for Medicare Part A and defer Part B until retirement. Domestic partners, however, must apply for both parts A and B to be effective on their 65th birthday.
- Turning 65 and Retiring Within Three Months: When you or anyone on your plan is age 65, immediately apply for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage) effective on the member's retirement date to ensure continuous coverage.
- Already 65 and Retiring in More Than Three Months: When you or anyone on your plan is already 65, apply for Medicare Part B three months ahead of the effective retirement date.
- Turning 65 and Already Retired: When you or anyone on your plan is turning 65, apply for Medicare parts A and B three months ahead of the birthday to become effective the first day of the birthday month.
If you have any health care plan other than GHI when you enroll in Medicare Part B, you must get a Special Enrollment Form for Medicare from your health insurer by calling the number on the back of your insurance card and identifying yourself as a New York City employee or retiree.
As a New York City retiree, you are eligible for reimbursement of Medicare Part B costs. To receive the reimbursements, send the notification of the Medicare B enrollment application and a copy of your Medicare A and B card to the Office of Labor Relations. The reimbursements for the standard Medicare B premium then will be automatic.
For further information, forms and a pamphlet on Medicare enrollment, go to the Retired Teachers Chapter section of the UFT website or call the union at 212-331-6314.