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October 15, 2012

Medicare-eligible Employees 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.

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