Medicare Enrollment / Transition Seminar
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.
Within this time period, ACERA will send you an invitation to attend a Medicare Transition Seminar. During the seminar, we will impart very important information about Medicare, provide assistance completing enrollment forms for ACERA’s medical plans, and provide publications that help you understand it more clearly. If you do not receive an invitation, please register for the next seminar.
If you do not wish to attend the seminar or are unable to attend, ACERA will mail you the enrollment packet containing enrollment forms, important information, and instructions. You can also obtain more information on Medicare by reviewing the Medicare & You Handbook, which is a very user-friendly source of information, covering all aspects of Medicare.
If you are retired when you turn 65, Medicare usually goes into effect on the first day of the month of your birthday—unless your birthday is on the first, then the effective date will be first day of the month before. If you retire after you are Medicare eligible, Medicare usually goes into effect on the first day of the month after you stop working (but it could be later).
Once you have received your letter from Medicare stating your effective date, you are enrolled in Medicare. You can then submit the enrollment form for one of ACERA’s Medicare medical plans. It’s a good idea to submit those forms as soon as you receive your letter so you can begin paying lower premiums.
When Medicare has processed your enrollment, they will send you a Medicare card in the mail containing your name and claim number. ACERA does not recommend carrying the card around with you, as your claim number is often your Social Security number—so keep it in a secure place.
If you and/or your dependents are eligible for Medicare prior to age 65 (for example, due to disability), contact the Social Security Administration to discuss your eligibility and Medicare enrollment options.
If you are near or over age 65 and are currently employed but plan to retire soon, you are probably not on our mailing list for the seminar invitations. However, the Medicare Transition Seminar will be beneficial to you as you will soon begin the Medicare enrollment process. ACERA recommends that you register for the next seminar.
Do I have to wait for ACERA’s Open Enrollment in November to enroll in Medicare?
No. Turning age 65 is a qualifying event allowing you to transition from a pre-Medicare medical plan in to one of ACERA’s Medicare plans. You should begin the process 90 days before your 65th birthday.
Do I need to contact Social Security to get medicare, or will they enroll me automatically?
Usually, the Social Security Administration knows when your 65th birthday is approaching and will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B, and notify you. However, ACERA encourages you to contact Social Security at least 90 days prior to your birthday to ensure everything is in order.