Medicare Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to Medicare questions for:

For Active Faculty and Staff

I’m an active employee who is eligible for Medicare.  Should I enroll?

If you become Medicare-eligible while you are actively working at the University of Michigan, you do not need to enroll in Medicare A and B until you retire.  You can enroll in Medicare Part A at no cost to you.  If you enroll in Medicare Part A while you are actively working, Medicare Part A would pay secondary to your University of Michigan health plan.

If you are retiring within your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B preferably within the 3 months prior to turning 65 to avoid a delay in enrollment.

How will I know when I am eligible for Medicare?

About 3 months before you turn 65, you will receive a letter from the Benefits Office explaining your options and how your U-M health coverage will be affected.

You may receive a mailing that includes a Medicare card, about 3 months before turning 65.  If you sign the card and place it in your wallet, you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.  If you return the card, you are denying Medicare.

I’m an active employee and my spouse/OQA who is a dependent on my health coverage is eligible for Medicare.  Do they need to enroll in Medicare A and B?

Your spouse does not need to enroll in Medicare until you retire (or are on Long-Term Disability) from the university.

Your OQA will need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as soon as they are eligible for Medicare, regardless of your employment status.  U-M health plans will pay secondary to Medicare

What happens to my U-M health plan coverage when I become Medicare-eligible?

If you are an active employee, you do not need to enroll in Medicare; U-M health plan coverage will remain your primary insurer.  If you decide to enroll in Medicare, it would pay secondary to your U-M coverage.

If you have ESRD-End Stage Renal Disease, there is a 30-month coordination of benefits period in which your U-M coverage would pay primary.  Coverage would then change to Medicare Primary after the coordination of benefits period ends.

Who do I call for questions about Medicare eligibility or enrollment?

For questions on Medicare enrollment, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE

For questions on how your U-M benefits will be affected, call the U-M Shared Services Center at 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657 toll free.

I’m retiring soon and I’m already 65 (or my spouse/OQA is already 65).  How and when should I enroll in Medicare?

If you are retiring within your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) you need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B preferably within the 3 months prior to turning 65 to avoid a delay in enrollment.

If you are not retiring within your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), then you should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B the month before you retire to avoid a delay in enrollment.

Request a retirement packet from the U-M Shared Services Center by calling 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657 toll free.  A “Request for Employment Information" form will be completed for you and included in the packet.  This form informs Medicare that you are retired from U-M and they are the primary payer the first of the month following retirement. Take the form with you to the Social Security office when you apply. 

For Retirees

I am a U-M retiree.  When should I enroll in Medicare?

If you are age 65 or older when you retire, you must enroll in Medicare during your Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which is within 8 months following retirement, to avoid a penalty.  However, you need to enroll the month you are retiring (or the month before if you are retiring on the first of the month) to avoid claim problems.  If you are age 65 when you retire, the Benefits Office will change your health coverage to Medicare primary to your U-M health coverage effective the first of the month following retirement.

If you turn 65 after you retire, you must enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is 3 months prior to turning 65 through the 3rd month following turning 65. To avoid a delay in enrollment it is preferable that you enroll within the 3 months prior to turning 65 .

If you become eligible due to a disability under age 65, you must enroll when you are first eligible and notify the Benefits Office.

I am a retiree and my spouse/OQA or dependent child who I’m covering on my U-M health coverage is eligible for Medicare.  Do they need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B?
Yes, as soon as they are eligible, for any reason.
I have a spouse/OQA or dependent child who is eligible for Medicare Parts A and B.  What happens to their coverage?

They need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B if they are eligible.

The Benefits Office will change their coverage to Medicare primary to your U-M coverage.

You will need to provide us with their Medicare information.

I am a U-M retiree age 65 or older, actively working elsewhere with benefits through my active employment.  Do I still need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B?

Yes.  Once you are retired and eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, the Benefits Office will change your coverage to Medicare Primary.  Your U-M health coverage will only pay secondary to Medicare. 

Medicare will inform you if you are actively working with benefits from another employer, you do not need to enroll until you leave their employment.  This is true, however,  your active employer will pay primary, and U-M will not pay unless you are enrolled in Medicare, therefore your active employer’s coverage will essentially be your only coverage if you do not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.

What happens when I or my covered spouse/OQA turn 65?

About 3 months before you or a spouse/OQA turn 65, you will receive a letter from the Benefits Office explaining your options and how your U-M health coverage will be affected.

You may receive a Medicare card in the mail about 3 months before turning 65.  If you sign the card and place it in your wallet, you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.  If you return the card, you are denying Medicare.

Who do I call for questions about Medicare eligibility or enrollment?

For questions on Medicare enrollment, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or Medicare at 1800-MEDICARE

For questions on how your U-M benefits will be affected, call the U-M Shared Services Center at 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657 toll free.

For Professors Emeritus

I am a Professor Emeritus returning to work at the university. Do I need to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B?
Yes. As a Professor Emeritus, you will remain eligible for retiree benefits even upon returning to work at the university, and you will not be eligible for benefits as an active employee. As such, your U-M health plan will not pay for claims unless you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare will be the primary payer and U-M health coverage will only pay secondary to Medicare.
I am a Professor Emeritus returning to work at the university. Do my Medicare-eligible dependents need to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B?
Yes, anyone covered on your U-M health plan must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B if they are eligible due to age or disability.
I am a U-M Professor Emeritus but I am actively working elsewhere. Do I need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B? Do my dependents?
To have your U-M health plan pay for claims, you and your dependents must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you have active health coverage through your current employer, you don't need to enroll in Medicare; however, the only coverage you will have is your active coverage. Your U-M health plan will not pay for claims unless you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Once you do enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, your U-M policy will pay after Medicare pays.

For Long-Term Disability (LTD) Participants

I’m an LTD participant who is eligible for Medicare.  Should I enroll?
Yes. If you are on LTD, you must enroll in Medicare when first eligible
What happens to my U-M health coverage when I become Medicare eligible?
If you’re on LTD, you need to enroll in Medicare as soon as you are eligible.  Medicare will pay primary on claims and your U-M health plan coverage will pay secondary.
I’m on LTD, what happens if my spouse/OQA or dependent children become eligible for Medicare?

They must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when they first become eligible for any reason.

Medicare will become their primary payer to your U-M coverage

Notify the U-M Shared Services Center by calling 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657 toll free