Preparing for retirement can be overwhelming. Before deciding when you want to retire, you should understand how several factors affect your health care benefits.

Am I eligible?

Generally, retiring or separating employees of state agencies, higher-education institutions, and PEBB-participating employer groups are eligible. Additionally, surviving dependents or spouses and full-time elected or appointed officials may be eligible.

If you are eligible for PEBB retiree insurance coverage but you have other qualifying coverage, you may defer (postpone) your enrollment. Deferring keeps your right to enroll later. Learn more about how to defer coverage.

Limited time to act!

You must request to enroll in or defer enrollment no later than 60 days after your employer-paid, COBRA, or continuation coverage ends, or you will lose your right to enroll later.

How can I prepare?

The process of retiring should begin about six months before you plan to stop working, if not earlier.

Six months before retirement

If you have a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) retirement plan, contact DRS to request an estimate of your benefit. If you don’t have a DRS retirement plan, contact your employer to determine if you have a retirement plan and, if so, when you will be eligible to retire from the plan.

Three months before turning 65

You or any covered dependents who will soon turn 65 must enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B to stay enrolled in a PEBB retiree health plan. Note, if you are still working and on employee coverage, you can defer your Part B enrollment with Social Security. You’re encouraged to apply for Medicare three months before turning 65. To enroll, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778, or visit Medicare's website.

What if I retire before or after age 65?

If you retire before age 65, you can enroll in a PEBB retiree non-Medicare medical plan until you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you retire after age 65, you should already have Medicare Part A. You will need to enroll in Medicare Part B to enroll in a PEBB Medicare plan.

Submit proof of Medicare

Once you or your dependent enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B, you must send us proof of the enrollment by sending either:

  • A copy of the Medicare card or entitlement letter showing the effective date of Medicare Part A and Part B, or;
  • A copy of the Medicare denial letter from the Social Security Administration

You will have a special open enrollment for turning 65 or upon retirement and you will be able to enroll in a PEBB Medicare plan. There are many plans to choose from to fit your and your family’s needs.

60 days before retirement

Submit your retirement application to DRS. You should apply for PEBB retiree insurance coverage using Benefits 24/7 (or the PEBB Retiree Election Form, form A) and submit supporting documents, including proof of Medicare.

What PEBB benefits are available?

Choosing your retiree coverage is an important decision. This is especially true if you have ongoing care, like prescriptions or treatment of a chronic condition. As a retiree, your PEBB benefits include medical (including vision) and dental coverage. You may also be eligible for term life insurance. You must

enroll in medical coverage to enroll in dental. You cannot enroll in dental or vision coverage only.

When selecting PEBB medical or dental plans, your options are based on eligibility and where you live. You should consider which plans are available in your area and whether you or any eligible dependents you wish to enroll are already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you cover eligible dependents, everyone must enroll in the same medical and dental plans (with some exceptions, based on eligibility for Medicare Part A and Part B).

Retirement resources

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