Medicare – Eligibility

Who is Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance

Medicare Part A is available at no premium cost for most people age 65 or older who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. You are eligible at age 65 if:

  • You receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits; or
  • You receive or are eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits; or
  • You or your spouse or DP/CUP (living or deceased, including divorced spouses) worked long enough in a job where Medicare taxes were paid; or
  • You are the dependent parent of a fully insured deceased child.

If you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to get Medicare hospital insurance by paying a monthly premium. You can sign up for Medicare Part A when you first become eligible and after that, usually, only during designated enrollment periods.

Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance

Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium payment.

Anyone who is eligible for Medicare Part A can enroll in Medicare Part B. If you are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you can buy Medicare Part B if you are age 65 or older and you are:

  • A U.S. citizen; or
  • A legal resident who has lived in the United States for at least 5 consecutive years.

The monthly premium is the same whether or not you are enrolled in Medicare Part A. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Medicare Part B premium.

Please note that Hawaii law requires retirees and their dependents who are eligible for Medicare Part B to enroll in order to be covered by EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans.

Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans

If you have enrolled for Medicare Parts A and B, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans;
  • Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans;
  • Medicare Private Fee-for-Service plans; and
  • Medicare Special Needs plans.

The EUTF Kaiser Medicare Retiree plan (Senior Advantage) and the UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage plan are Medicare Part C plans.

Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage

Anyone who has Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), Medicare Part B (medical insurance) or a Medicare Part C (Advantage plan) is eligible for Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).

The EUTF retiree prescription drug plan is a Medicare Part D plan and is therefore governed by Medicare rules. Medicare requires that you can only be enrolled in one Medicare Part D plan at a time. Therefore, if you enroll in another Medicare Part D plan, you and your dependents will be cancelled from the EUTF retiree prescription drug plan. HSTA VB retirees who disenroll from the HSTA VB prescription drug plan will also be cancelled from their HSTA VB medical, vision and chiro plans, which are bundled plans. If your EUTF plans are cancelled you will lose the employer premium contribution and will not be able to reenroll until the next EUTF Retiree Open Enrollment.