October 15, 2012
Must Apply for
Medicare Parts A and B Before Retiring
Employers should communicate to all Medicare-eligible employees
that prior to terminating employment for retirement they must apply
for Medicare Parts A and B to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Most people become eligible for Medicare upon reaching age 65.
By applying for Medicare Parts A and B, the employee ensures that
there will be no gap in their health insurance coverage when they
retire. Employees should make the effective date of their Medicare
Parts A and B coverage the day following (or earlier) the termination
date of their active employer coverage, which is the end of the
month after all Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employment ends.
U.S. residents and retired members who participate in either the
State of Wisconsin Group or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health
Insurance programs and who are Medicare-enrolled will pay reduced
premiums for Medicare-coordinated coverage. In addition, they will
automatically be enrolled in Navitus MedicareRX (PDP), the health
insurance programs' Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. They
do not need to apply for other Medicare Part D coverage.
If retiring employees do not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B in
a timely manner, they will be inconvenienced by a lapse in coverage,
and they may be liable for claims that Medicare would have paid.
To apply for Medicare Parts A and B, employees may contact their
local Social Security Administration office or call 1-800-772-1213.