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Fact Sheet for Retirees 401(a) Medicare
Important Information before you get started!
This fact sheet is for 401(a) Retirees who are, or become, Medicare eligible. A 401(a) Retiree is an individual who participated in the 401(a) retirement plan, and has officially retired from CU. If you need more information on how to retire from the University of Colorado, please visit Retirement Ready.
What benefits are available to 401(a) Medicare retirees?
401(a) Medicare retirees are eligible for medical, dental and life benefits through CU.
You can add the following dependents to your plans:
- spouse, common-law spouse, civil union partner, domestic partner
- dependent children up to age 27
- qualifying disabled children over age 27
If enrolling any dependents in a medical and/or dental plan who have not previously been verified, you must provide dependent eligibility verification documentation by your enrollment deadline. Dependents only need to be verified once; verification will carry over year-to-year.
When do I need to enroll?
You have 31 days from your official retirement date (your termination date in HCM system, as entered by your department). If you fail to enroll or waive your coverage within the deadline, the following defaults will apply:
- Medical and Dental: Plans are waived for the plan year (July 1-June 30). You are not allowed to enroll until the following annual Open Enrollment period.
If you enroll in medical/dental plans, your elections will remain for the plan year. You may not make any changes to your elections until next Open Enrollment, unless you experience a qualifying life event.
- Basic Life Insurance: Your basic life insurance will be waived and you forfeit your rights to enrollment from that point forward.
If you enroll in basic life, you may cancel coverage at any time by contacting Employee Services’ Benefits Administration. Once you cancel coverage, you will not be able to re-enroll.
- Optional Life Insurance: Your optional life insurance will be waived and you forfeit your rights to enrollment from that point forward.
If you enroll in optional life, you may decrease or cancel coverage at any time by contacting Employee Services’ Benefits Administration. Once you decrease or cancel coverage, you will not be able to increase coverage or re-enroll.
When is the plan year?
The plan year is from July 1-June 30. Your enrollment as a new retiree will be effective for the remainder of the plan year. You will be allowed to make changes during regular Open Enrollment or if you experience a qualifying life event.
When will my coverage begin?
Your retiree medical, dental and life insurance coverage will begin the first day of the month following the termination of your active benefits. You will not experience a gap in coverage. You will receive a new health insurance card(s) from the applicable carrier(s).
When two members of a household are employed and/or retired with the university and/or university affiliates:
- You cannot be covered as an employee and a retiree for any university medical and/or dental plan.
- You may be insured as both a retiree and a spouse of an active employee up to a maximum combined optional life insurance benefit of $500,000.
- Each parent, employee or retiree, may enroll in different plans and may enroll different dependent children under his or her coverage.
When you or your covered dependent turns 65 or becomes Medicare eligible
When you become Medicare eligible (typically when turning 65), your retiree medical and dental coverage for all covered persons will end the last day of the month before you turn 65. You and your dependents may enroll in an over/under combination plan where you will have CU Health Plan – Medicare and your dependent(s) will have CU Health Plan – High Deductible or you may choose the Alternate Medicare Payment. Call Employee Services’ Benefits Administration within 31 days of this qualifying life event to enroll.
If your dependent becomes Medicare eligible (typically when turning 65), before you, the retiree, the dependent’s coverage will end the last day of the month before he/she turns 65. You, the retiree, may elect to continue in your current plan or enroll in the over/under combination plan, where your dependent has CU Health Plan – Medicare and you have CU Health Plan – High Deductible. Call Employee Services' Benefits Administration within 31 days of this qualifying life event. The Alternate Medicare Payment is not available until you become Medicare eligible.
If you or your dependent are already enrolled in the over/under plan, the one turning 65 will be automatically enrolled in CU Health Plan – Medicare.
How and when do I pay for my premiums?
The university will bill you each month for your retiree benefits. You will receive your benefits bill around the second week of the month to pay for the coverage received the prior month. For example, you will receive a bill in February to pay for your January coverage. Payment is due by the end of the month in which you receive your bill.
If you elect to have your benefit premiums deducted from your checking or savings account each month, you will be debited from your account around the 20th of each month for the total amount due. This option also pays in arrears; the debit taken in February pays for your January coverage. Sign up for automatic withdrawal by submitting the Banking Authorization Form.
The University of Colorado’s contribution toward medical and/or dental coverage for your non-qualified domestic partner or your partner’s dependent(s) is considered imputed income unless you are married or claim them as your tax dependent(s) for health care purposes. These benefits are subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are subject to imputed income for your benefits, you will be billed for taxes by Employee Services and sent a W-2 at the end of the calendar year.