Become Familiar with Medicare

Continuing coverage with the Health Benefits Fund after retirement also depends on eventually becoming eligible for Medicare. We highly recommend that you become familiar with your Medicare options, especially with Medicare Part B. Part B is the medical insurance part of Medicare and requires both enrollment and monthly premiums. If you wish to continue coverage with the Health Benefits Fund, you’ll need to enroll in Medicare Part B.

The Health Benefits Fund offers an “Integrated Plan” to Retirees, meaning that Medicare Part B (medical) and Part D (prescription drug) benefits are provided under the same plan. Once you retire, you cannot be enrolled in an outside Medicare Part D plan, a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Medicare Advantage plan. Enrollment in these plans will permanently terminate your health coverage with the Health Benefits Fund. (You may, however, enroll in a supplemental or “Medigap” policy.)

Creditable Coverage

The Health Benefits Fund provides prescription drug coverage that is, on average for all plan participants, expected to pay out as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. This means it is considered “creditable coverage”. Having creditable coverage allows you to maintain Health Benefits Fund coverage after retirement and not pay a higher premium if you later decide to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.

See the “Medicare & You” handbook. This is the official government handbook with important information about costs, coverage,
      options and rights. You should receive this handbook in the mail from the government as you approach retirement age.
Visit Medicare.gov for personalized help
Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (New York: 800- 701-0501; New Jersey: 877-222-3737;
      Connecticut: 860-424-5862).
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) (TTY users: 877-486-2048).