To qualify for Medicare, you must have worked for at least ten years and have at least forty working credits on record with Social Security. You can find additional information about requirements on the Medicare website.
Medicare consists of two parts:
Parts A is for hospital services; provided at no cost if you have the required working credits
Part B is for medical/doctor services; provided for a monthly premium
Via Benefits is a private Medicare exchange that Tufts University partners with to provide health coverage for retirees over the age of 65. You can use this resource for assistance in finding and enrolling in new individual Medicare supplemental health and prescription drug coverage to replace their current health coverage.
At the time of your retirement, EBPA, the university's COBRA vendor, will send you rates and enrollment information for continuing your health coverage under COBRA. If you have questions about choosing the right option for yourself and your family, or if you do not receive a COBRA notice within two weeks of your retirement date, call EBPA at 888-232-3203.
Note that if you enroll in COBRA, you forfeit the right for you and your dependents to enroll in Tufts University Retiree Health Plan in the future.
Coverage Under Age 65
If you are under age 65 and eligible for Retiree Health coverage, you may enroll yourself and your eligible family members in any of the four options offered through the Tufts University Health Plan.
If enrolled, coverage will start on your retirement date and you will be billed for your health coverage by EBPA, the university's third-party billing administrator. Once enrolled, Tufts Health Plan will issue new ID cards with retiree group information.
If You Opt Out
If you retire before age 65, you can opt out of the Retiree Health Plan. You will need to opt back in within 31 days of your 65th birthday to be eligible for supplemental insurance plans through Via Benefits. Contact a representative at Via Benefits at 844-353-0772 for assistance.
Coverage at Age 65 and Over
If you retire at age 65 or older, your current health insurance coverage, and coverage for your eligible dependents over age 65, will transition into individual Medicare Part A & B and an individual Medicare Health supplemental insurance plan through Via Benefits that will go into effective the 1st of the month. Once you have completed Medicare enrollment, contact Via Benefits to assess health plan options and enroll.
Enrolling in Medicare
Before you can select a health plan through Via Benefits, you must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B:
If you are applying for both Medicare Part A and Part B, enrollment can be done online or at your local Social Security office or by mail.
If you already have Medicare Part A, you will need to complete and submit an "Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B" (Form CMS 40B) to Social Security. Contact TSS to obtain a printed copy.
If required by Social Security, contact TSS to provide you (and spouse if age 65 and over) with a completed “Request for Employment Information” (Form CMS L564) and an “Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B” (Form CMS 40).
Submit your request to TSS at least one week before you go to Social Security.
If you meet the age and service requirement above and you were hired before January 1, 1994, you are eligible for a university contribution under the Retiree Health Plan. Each October, updated contribution amounts for the next calendar year will be available through ViaBenefits and EBPA, our retiree health plan administrators.
If you were hired on January 1, 1994 or after and you meet the age and service requirements, you are eligible to participate and will pay the entire cost for your health coverage.
Under Age 65
If you are eligible for the university contribution and retire under age 65, you must enroll in a Tufts University health plan within 31 days of retirement in order to receive the contribution. If you retire before age 65 and opt out of the retiree health plan, you will need to opt back in within 31 days of your 65th birthday to qualify for the university contribution. You can opt back in by contacting Via Benefits.
Age 65 and Older
If you are eligible for the university contribution and retire at age 65 or over, you must enroll in a health plan through Via Benefits within 31 days of your retirement in order to receive the contribution.
To ensure a timely and streamlined transition of your health coverage, you must complete the enrollment process 31 days prior to your retirement. You may begin the Medicare enrollment as early as 90 days prior to your retirement.
For more information about eligibility and enrollment please review the Retiree Health Plan and the Retiree Health Reimbursement Plan documents.
For questions regarding health coverage under the age of 65, contact Tufts Support Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-7000.
For questions about health coverage for retirees over age 65, contact Via Benefits at 844-353-0772.