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Enrolling in Medicare | | 40 Quarters of Coverage | | Fewer Than 40 Quarters | | CalSTRS Program | | Reimbursements

Enrolling in Medicare When You Have Fewer Than 40 Quarters of Medicare Credit

Even if you do not have 40 quarters of Medicare credit you can sign up for Medicare benefits. However, you may be required to pay premiums (which will be reimbursed by the District) for Medicare Part A as well as the Medicare Part B premium that everyone has to pay. Your Medicare A will be free, however, if your spouse is age 62 and s/he has 40 quarters of coverage. This is true if you are a widow/er or if you are divorced under certain circumstances. Click here for details.

If your spouse qualifies you for free Part A coverage, follow the instructions for "Enrolling in Medicare When You Have At Least 40 Quarters of Medicare Coverage".

If you do not have an eligible spouse, then there will be a premium for Part A as well as Part B. Although Medicare will charge you for both Part A and Part B coverage, you will not have any out-of-pocket expense because:

  • You may be eligible for CalSTRS Medicare Premium Payment Program in which case STRS will pay your Part A premium for you (although they do not pay for any penalties for late enrollment, or for Medicare Part B).
  • All premiums and/or penalties not covered by the CalSTRS program will be reimbursed by the Peralta District.

Read about the Cal STRS Premium Payment Program

Enrollment Periods for Medicare

There are three times when you can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B.

Initial Enrollment Period

You may sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during your initial enrollment period, which begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. (For example, if you turn 65 on July 15, you can sign up anytime between April 1 and October 31.) Your Medicare coverage will begin the 1st day of the month in which you turn 65.

General Enrollment Period
If you did not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during the Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the Medicare General Enrollment Period which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. Your Medicare coverage will start July 1 of the year you sign up. You may be charged penalties for late enrollment in Medicare. Any such penalties will be reimbursed to you by the Peralta District through its reimbursement program (see link below).

Special Enrollment Period
This period is available if you are eligible for Medicare and waited to enroll in Medicare because you or your spouse was actively working and had group health plan coverage through an employer. You can sign up for Medicare any time you are still covered by an employer group health plan through your or your spouse's current employment. If you have not signed up while you were covered by your or your spouse's employer you can still sign up without penalty during the eight months following the month that the group health plan coverage ends, or when the employment ends (whichever is first). (For example, if you retired in June, 2011, you can sign up for Medicare until February 2012 without any penalty for late enrollment.)

For more information about Medicare enrollment periods, please contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

How To Enroll
To enroll in Medicare you can contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or you may apply for Medicare online at https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib. There may be a penalty for late enrollment (more than three months after your 65th birthday or 8 months after you stop working). Everyone must pay a premium for Medicare Part B. Any premiums and/or penalties are fully reimbursed by the Peralta District.

Information about receiving reimbursements for Medicare payments.

Next Steps
If you are enrolled in the District's PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) program (Anthem/Blue Cross-CoreSource) Medicare will become your "primary" insurer, while CoreSource will provide "wrap around" coverage for those eligible expenses not covered by Medicare. When you use medical services be sure to give your provider both your Medicare card and your CoreSource card.

If you are enrolled in the District's Kaiser program you must enroll in Kaiser's Senior Advantage program after you sign up for Medicare. This will assign your Medicare benefits to Kaiser and will also offer you some benefits in addition to those you are entitled to under Peralta's Kaiser plan. You will not be able to use Medicare for non-Kaiser medical services. To enroll in Senior Advantage call 1-877-552-1149 after you have enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

Information about Kaiser's Senior Advantage Program

This page last updated: January 5, 2021

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