Medicare – How to Enroll

When should I enroll in Medicare Part B?

Medicare eligible retirees must enroll in Medicare Part B to continue to be covered under an EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plan. A spouse/civil union or domestic partner who is enrolled as a dependent under an EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plan must also enroll in Medicare Part B when they become eligible for Medicare, regardless of whether they are retired or actively employed.

EUTF Retirees and their Covered Dependents Reaching Age 65
Contact the Social Security Administration or CMS and Medicaid Services three months prior to your 65th birthday to initiate enrollment into Medicare Part B. EUTF will send a courtesy letter to retirees and their eligible spouse/partner three months prior to their 65th birthday also reminding you to enroll into Medicare Part B. Start the Medicare enrollment process as soon as you become eligible and submit appropriate documents to the EUTF in order to continue your EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug coverage.

Employees Who Will Be Retiring (Over Age 65) and their Covered Dependents
Employees and/or their covered dependent(s) who are eligible to enroll in Medicare should begin the Medicare Part B enrollment process three months prior to retirement by contacting the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Eligible retirees and their covered dependents must submit proof of Medicare Part B enrollment to the EUTF within 60 days of your retirement date in order to be covered under the EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug coverage.

How to enroll in Medicare Part B

Medicare enrollment is handled by the Social Security Administration. You can enroll in-person or through the mail. If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65. If you are not collecting Social Security, you must take the initiative to complete the necessary forms to enroll in Medicare.

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

This enrollment period occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare. IEP is a 7-month period allowing eligible beneficiaries to enroll during:

  • The three months before the month you turn 65 (coverage begins the first day of the month you turn 65, or the first of the prior month if born on the 1st of the month)
  • The month you turn 65 (coverage will be delayed) or
  • The three months after the month you turn 65 (coverage will be delayed)

General Enrollment Period (GEP)

If you miss the previous enrollment periods, the General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A and B occurs between January 1st and March 31st each year with a plan effective date of July 1st.

If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, either at age 65 or when coverage under an active employee group health plan ends, a late enrollment penalty may be assessed. The penalty is equal to 10% of the premium for each full 12-month period that you could have had Medicare Part B but did not enroll. The penalty is assessed for as long as you have Medicare Part B. EUTF will not reimburse for any late enrollment penalties.

To enroll in Medicare Part B, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the nearest Social Security Administration office.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

This enrollment period is available if your Initial Enrollment Period has passed and you did not enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible because you were enrolled under an active employee group plan. SEP for Medicare is as follows:

  • An 8-month period that begins the month after employment or after employer group coverage ends.
  • IMPORTANT: COBRA coverage from an active employee plan does not constitute coverage under an active employee group plan and therefore does not extend the Special Enrollment Period.
To enroll in Medicare Part B, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website at www.ssa.gov.

Reminder: Retirees and their covered dependents must provide the EUTF with proof of your Medicare Part B enrollment within 60 days of becoming eligible. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of EUTF or HSTA VB retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans. Medicare Part B coverage must be in effect on the date of retirement for new retirees or the date when retirees and/or their covered dependents become eligible for Medicare Part B, in order to participate in EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans.

Medicare Enrollment and Active Employment

If you are covered under an EUTF or HSTA VB active employee plan, you are not required to enroll in Medicare. Medicare enrollment is only required for coverage under EUTF and HSTA VB retiree plans. If during your retirement, you are actively employed and covered by another employer’s health plan, you will still be required to enroll in Medicare Part B in order to continue coverage under the EUTF or HSTA VB retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans. If you are a dependent enrolled in an EUTF or HSTA VB retiree medical and/or prescription drug plan and are eligible for Medicare Part B, you are required to enroll in Medicare Part B even if you are still actively working.