The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently rolled out a web-based resource for employers to help them assist employees with obtaining information about transitioning to Medicare coverage. This resource is part of a broader, concerted effort on the part of CMS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to improve the information available to individuals becoming eligible for Medicare. Long sought by advocates, this education effort began with new materials released at this summer’s White House Conference on Aging. (See our July 13, 2015 Press Release for more details).
As stated in the CMS Blog post “Helping You Help Your Employees With Medicare Enrollment” (9/25/15):
Those newly eligible for Medicare who are still working or have employer coverage have important decisions to make. It’s important they understand how and when to enroll, as well as the consequences of not enrolling. Those who don’t enroll timely may have gaps in their insurance coverage and may pay more for Part B (late enrollment penalty) for as long as they have that coverage. There’s other important information to understand about Medicare enrollment, for example:
- Some people get Medicare automatically, and some need to sign up for it.
- People can enroll in Medicare Part B only at certain times.
- There are special enrollment rules for those who are still working and covered by an employer.
- Not everyone with Medicare is 65 or older.
The CMS website has been updated with an Employer Resources section, which includes links to “Top 5 things you need to know about Medicare Enrollment” and other publications and resources for employees. See: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Find-Your-Provider-Type/Employers/Employer-Community.html
Note that the CMS website also contains more detailed information about coordination of benefits issues, including employer-based coverage, at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery-Overview/Overview.html.