Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the U.S. government for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). Qualified Medicare-eligible ACERA members, dependents, and survivors can select a medical plan through ACERA that works in conjunction with the federal Medicare system.
When you or your dependents become eligible for Medicare (usually at age 65), in order to keep or enroll in group health coverage through ACERA, you are required to enroll in and be covered by Medicare Parts A and B and maintain that coverage. After you are enrolled in Medicare, you may enroll in an ACERA Medicare Plan, which is a medical insurance plan offered by ACERA that works in conjunction with your federal Medicare coverage.
For retired members who will be eligible at age 65, ACERA encourages you to begin the process for enrolling in Medicare at least 90 days prior to your 65th birthday. Begin by contacting the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to verify your eligibility for Medicare. Medicare will typically automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B within this time period, and send you a letter notifying you of your approval for Medicare and the date Medicare will go into effect.
ACERA offers Medicare plans to individuals who are eligible for Medicare (generally, those over age 65). These ACERA plans works in conjunction with your Medicare coverage provided to you by the U.S. government. The plans may change from year to year:
ACERA reimburses members for the lowest monthly rate that Medicare charges retirees for being enrolled in Medicare Part B, which is $104.90 (increasing to $109.00 for 2017). Medicare deducts payment for Medicare Part B from your Social Security Check. The Medicare Part B Reimbursement Plan (MBRP) is for qualified retired members only, and is provided as an additional allowance in the member’s retirement allowance payment.
The Medicare Part B Reimbursement Plan is a non-vested benefit that is reviewed by the Board of Retirement annually.
Medicare is not offered as a family or dependent benefit. This means that all people who have Medicare must qualify on an individual basis. For example, a person under age 65 does not automatically receive Medicare because their spouse is 65 or older and enrolled in the Medicare program. If you or your spouse are not yet eligible for one of ACERA’s Medicare plans, you are still eligible to enroll in one of ACERA non- Medicare health plans.
If you continue to work after age 65 when you become Medicare eligible, you have the option of enrolling in Medicare. Medicare A is offered at no cost to you, but remember that you will have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, in addition to any premiums you may be paying to be covered under your employer’s health plan. The same consideration should be made for Part D.