Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) Medicare Requirements
Each plan participant must contact the SSA and apply for Medicare benefits upon turning the age of 65. If the SSA determines that a plan participant is eligible for Medicare Part A at a premium-free rate, TRIP requires that the plan participant accept the Medicare Part A coverage. If the SSA determines that a plan participant is not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A based on his/her own work history or the work history of a spouse at least 62 years of age (when applicable), the plan participant must request a written statement of the Medicare ineligibility from the SSA. Upon receipt, the written statement must be forwarded to TRS. Plan participants who are ineligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, as determined by the SSA, are not required to enroll in Medicare.
Retirees and Survivors (and their applicable Dependents)
Plan participants (including dependents) who are retired or a survivor without Current Employment Status (i.e., no longer working) who are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A must enroll in Medicare Part A, but may decline enrollment in Medicare Part B. However, even though TRIP does not require plan participants to enroll in Medicare Part B, participants who receive the lower Medicare primary TRIP premium (due to having both Medicare Parts A and B) are required to maintain their enrollment in Medicare A and B. Participants receiving the Medicare primary premium will be subject to the higher non-Medicare primary premium if disenrollment from Medicare Part B occurs. Furthermore, the participant will be charged the higher premium rate retroactively to the date Medicare Part B was dropped. Plan participants who drop Medicare Part B coverage must notify TRS immediately and provide the date the coverage termed.
Plan Participants Eligible for Medicare on the Basis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD):
Plan participants at any age who are eligible for Medicare benefits based on End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) must contact the State of Illinois CMS Medicare COB Unit for information regarding the Medicare requirements and to ensure the proper calculation of the 30-month Coordination of Benefit Period.
Each plan participant who becomes eligible for Medicare is required to submit a copy of his/her Medicare card to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). You may contact TRS at 1-800-877-7896.