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UNIVERSITY HEALTH CARE PLANS
Medicare is a federal health program for individuals who qualify by age and for some people with disabilities. The program has basically two parts: Part A, Hospital Insurance and Part B, Medical Insurance. Retirees do not pay a fee for Part A since it is supported by taxes that were paid while working. Monthly charges, deducted from Social Security checks, are assessed for Part B. Enrollment is required for both parts and must be completed by age 65 or date of retirement, whichever is later, unless in the case of Part B, the retiree's spouse is still employed and the retiree is being covered by the spouse's health insurance. In that case, Part B enrollment must take place within nine months of the spouse's retirement. However, if the retiree will be returning to a UI or State of Iowa plan, they must enroll within 30 days of the event in order to be eligible for coverage. Failure to do so may result in addition of an extra Medicare premium.
The Medicare Part D that has been widely discussed should not be chosen if you are covered under the University of Iowa health plan. If the UI plan is dropped, you will not be permitted to return to the UI coverage at a later date. The UI plans are considered to be equivalent to Part D coverage and you will avoid penalty charges if you do enroll in Part D at a later date. Individuals age 65 or older will receive an annual Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage Notice from the University Benefits Office. Retirees on State of Iowa plans be sent this notice by the insurance company. This should be retained as documentation or prescription coverage if you should choose to leave the University plans and go to other coverage.
More information on how the University plans interact with Medicare can be found at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/health/uihealth_medicare_ss.html.
For further information on Medicare, contact the local Social Security Office. The phone number of the local office is 866-964-0172. Information can also be found at their web site: www.ssa.gov
Last Updated: 11/23/2010
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