Turning 65 can be a big milestone for many people. For others, it is just another birthday. At age 65, you are receiving lots of Medicare information and advertisments in your mail at home. The information below will help you understand your options/choices.
Medicare Part A: Covers hospitalizations. No cost for this coverage
Medicare Part B: Covers doctor visits, wellness visits, out patient surgeries, etc. There is a cost for this coverage. Medicare Part B costs around $105/month. It may cost more if you are in a higher income bracket.
Medicare Part D: Covers prescription drugs. This coverage is not needed for active employees on the State Health Plan or those who are eligible for retiree health insurance at retirement.
Age 65 and Still Working
If you are age 65 and still working full-time at NC State, you may only need to enroll in Medicare Part A. Part A covers hospitalization and there is no cost to you for this coverage. While working full-time, Medicare Part A acts as secondary coverage to your State Health Plan. You do not need Medicare Part B or D unless you want to give up your State Health Plan benefit. You will be able to elect Medicare Part B at retirement with no penalty. By enrolling in Medicare Part A when you turn age 65, you can reduce your out of pocket cost for hospitalizations since this plan will pay as a secondary coverage to the State Health Plan. You can review this guide from the State Retirement about Medicare and retiree health.
Over Age 65 and Retiring
If you retire at age 65 or older, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part B effective the month in which you retire. In retirement you will have three different health plans to choose from (if eligible). You will not need to enroll in Medicare Part D (prescription coverage) as the retiree health plans all have prescription drug coverage. You can review this guide from the State Health Plan about Medicare and retiree health.
If retiring, contact your HR Benefits Consultant about 120-90 days prior to your retirement. Your consultant will meet with you and help you through all the steps in the retirement process.
Enrolling in Medicare
Typically, 2-3 months before you turn age 65, you should receive information from Medicare about Medicare coverage.
If you are actively working full-time and have the State Health Plan, you only need to enroll in Medicare Part A for now.
If you do not receive information from Medicare, you can enroll in Medicare Part A or B online by going to www.medicare.gov. You can enroll by phone by calling 1-800-Medicare. You can also enroll by making an appointment at your local Social Security Office.