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When you retire, both your basic health insurance and your
supplemental health insurance may continue. The basic health plan
for hospitalization and major medical insurance (such as
GHI-CBP/Empire Blue Cross, for example) remains available to
eligible retirees participating in the New York City Health
Benefits Program. Retirees also continue to receive the
supplemental health insurance benefits (dental, optical,
prescription drugs, etc.) provided by the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund. To
be eligible for coverage in retirement, you must be:
Between the time you go off payroll deduction and the time you
go on pension deduction, there is a period of self-pay for:
During this time, you must have direct pay arrangements, such as
automatic bank withdrawals (will be continued if already in place)
or direct premium remittance (e.g., by personal check). The
insurance carrier can bill you, but there is a risk that the bill
will get lost or you overlook it or mistake it for a general
solicitation. If you do not pay (regardless of the reason), your
coverage may be cancelled permanently or you may be required to
provide medical qualification, which could lead to cancellation. It
is very important that you make sure that each insurance carrier
has your correct mailing address, phone number and e-mail
If you are not sure of what coverage you have as you're about to
retire, make sure that you check your pay stub and understand each
deduction. You can also consult the bi-annual communication from
NYSUT for clarification.
New York City policy requires retirees who reach age 65 to apply
for Medicare B, which becomes their primary health insurance. Their
City benefits insurance plan (GHI, HIP, etc.) becomes their
secondary coverage. Likewise, The PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund follows the
NYCHBP policy. To enroll in the Medco prescription drug program,
retirees who reach age 65 are required to enroll in Medicare Part
B. Likewise, when a dependent spouse/partner reaches age 65,
enrollment is Medicare Part B is mandatory. The City benefit plan,
such as GHI, continues but becomes secondary coverage.
You (or your covered dependent) should apply for Medicare Part B
approximately three months before reaching age 65 by contacting
your local Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213). If your
dependent is under the age of 65 but is receiving Social Security
disability payments for 24 months or more, your dependent must also
apply for Medicare B.
Do NOT enroll yourself or your dependent spouse/partner in
ANY Medicare Part D drug program. Medicare-eligible retirees
participating in the Welfare Fund Medco drug plan are automatically
enrolled by the Fund in the Medco Medicare Prescription Plan when
their Welfare Fund retiree enrollment forms are processed.
Enrollment in other Medicare Part D plans makes you ineligible for
Welfare Fund drug coverage.
Retirees with HIP-VIP or Aetna basic insurance plans will
maintain their drug coverage by filling out their retiree
health benefits application. Medicare Part D enrollment will be
handled by the insurance carrier.
Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium that is automatically
deducted each month from your Social Security check and usually
changes each January 1. You can contact the Social Security
Administration for the current premium.
If you are a TRS/ERS retiree,the City will reimburse you and
your eligible dependents on Medicare for a portion of the monthly
premium for Medicare Part B. You must be receiving a City pension
check and be enrolled as the contract holder for City health
benefits in order to receive reimbursement. You must notify the NYC
Health Benefits Program (40 Rector Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY,
10006) in writing immediately upon receipt of your and your
dependent's Medicare card. Medicare Part B reimbursements will be
made to retirees who elect Medicare as primary coverage.
If you are a TIAA-CREF retiree,you are also eligible for a
partial reimbursement of the monthly Medicare Part B premium if you
In addition, your spouse/domestic partner and/or disabled
dependent may be eligible to receive Medicare Part B reimbursement
in the year in which you retire (or in the year he or she becomes
eligible for Medicare Part B following your retirement date) if he
or she is enrolled in Medicare Part B and covered under your
retiree health benefits plan.
TIAA-CREF retirees must submit a Medicare Part B Application for
Reimbursement form, available here at the bottom of the Forms page or from your
College Human Resources Office. Complete and forward the
application to the The City University of New York, University
Employee Benefits Office, 395 Hudson Street, 5th floor New York, NY
10014. You must include a copy of the Health Insurance and Medicare
Part A and Part B cards for yourself and eligible spouse/domestic
partner and/or disabled dependent(s). Reimbursements are not
permitted for retirees who live outside of the United States.
Medicare Part B reimbursement checks are processed in the year
following your retirement. The City will generally process the
payments once a year for those who retired during the previous
calendar year. As a result, the application approval process may
take six months or more depending on the application submission
If you have questions about your benefits in retirement and you
have a TRS pension, contact the New York City Health Benefits
Program at 212-306-7365. If you have a TIAA pension, call
212-306-7378. You can visit their website at www.nyc.gov/html/olr. You can also call the
Welfare Fund at 212-354-5230, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detailed information and advice about Medicare is available
online from the Medicare Rights Center (MRC) [www.medicarerights.org]
or by calling its Consumer Hotline (1-800-333-4114). MRC provides
counseling to individuals who need answers to Medicare-related
questions or help getting care. Hotline counselors are available
Monday through Friday, 9AM - 6PM.
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