What to expect when you become eligible for Medicare
Medicare is the federal health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that provides basic medical coverage. Generally, you become eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month in which you reach age 65. (If you were born on the first of the month, you would be eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month prior to reaching age 65.)
You may also be eligible for Medicare if you meet any of the following conditions:
- If you become disabled and have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.
- If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), or you become eligible in the month that your Social Security disability benefits begin.
- If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
As long as you’re an active Dell team member, your Dell medical benefits are not affected by your eligibility for Medicare. Your coverage will remain unchanged. The impact of becoming eligible for Medicare is different for active team members and those who leave Dell. The following information helps explain how being eligible for Medicare will affect your Dell health benefits while an active team member.
Medicare consists of four parts:
- Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care.
- Part B (medical insurance) costs you a monthly premium and covers doctor's services, outpatient care, medical supplies and equipment.
- Part C (medicare advantage) is optional coverage in which you choose to receive all Medicare-eligible services from a private insurance company (for example, an HMO) that is approved by Medicare.
- Part D (prescription drugs) is a voluntary option that covers prescription drugs through private insurance providers. You'll receive a separate notification about your current prescription drug coverage and Medicare Part D.
Do I need to enroll in Medicare?
You'll receive information from Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you are an active team member or a dependent of an active team member, are not disabled and do not have ESRD or Lou Gehrig's disease:
- Your Dell medical benefits are not affected by your eligibility for Medicare. Your coverage will remain unchanged (note that becoming eligible for Medicare is a "change in status" event that allows you to make certain coverage changes if you wish — see your summary plan description for more information).
- If you enroll in Medicare, you will not be eligible to contribute or receive Dell’s contribution to a Health Savings Account (HSA).
- If you were automatically enrolled in Part B and are actively employed, you have the opportunity to decline Medicare Part B and enroll in it later when you retire or when your Dell medical coverage ends. If you are thinking about dropping Part B, review your current level of benefit coverage and consider your medical needs first. Then, if you decide to decline Part B enrollment, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
If you retire or leave Dell:
- If you’re eligible for Medicare, you’ll have an eight-month period to enroll in Medicare. It is important that you enroll in Medicare during this period, as you may be subject to a penalty payment if you do not enroll and wish to do so at a later date.
- If you or your spouse or domestic partner are Medicare-eligible and enroll in Dell COBRA coverage, there are impacts to your coverage. See below.
- If you retire, your retiree medical benefits through Dell terminate upon reaching age 65.
If you are disabled or have ESRD or Lou Gehrig's disease:
- Special rules apply. Visit your local Social Security office, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance.
If I leave Dell and I am eligible for Medicare, does this impact my COBRA coverage?
Yes. If you or your spouse or domestic partner are Medicare-eligible and enroll in Dell COBRA coverage, Medicare coverage will be primary and your Dell COBRA coverage will be secondary. This means that the Dell plan will pay claims on a secondary basis regardless of whether you have enrolled in Medicare Part B. Please carefully consider how this impacts your personal circumstances.
For more information
See the summary plan descriptions on the Your Benefits Resources™ website (@ Work | Log in ). From Your Benefits Resources home page, go to the Knowledge Center. You can also contact the Dell Benefits Center at 1-888-335-5663, option 1, option 1.
For additional information, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048) or visit medicare.gov.