You may be entitled to Medicare benefits even though you may still be an active participant still working. If you are eligible for coverage through the Health and Welfare Fund by hours worked or even by self-paying for a deficit or shortage of hours, the Fund will be your primary insurance carrier. If you have enrolled for Medicare benefits, Medicare would be your secondary insurance carrier. In this case, you would need to submit all claims to the Health and Welfare Fund, and after the Fund processes your claims, you can then submit your claims to Medicare.
After becoming entitled to Medicare benefits, when you have retired or stop working and you are no longer eligible for coverage by hours worked and are making a monthly self-pay premium to the Fund, Medicare will become your primary insurance carrier.
You will then need to submit all claims to Medicare first. Once Medicare has processed your benefits, they will then need to be sent to the Health and Welfare Fund to be processed. The Fund will consider all charges which Medicare allows but does not pay, such as deductibles and co-payments.
The total benefits paid under Medicare and the Health and Welfare Fund cannot exceed the expenses incurred.
Should you be entitled to Medicare benefits and not enroll for coverage, the Health and Welfare Fund will not pay any claims submitted to the Fund as the primary insurance carrier. When you become entitled to Medicare benefits, you must enroll for both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage.
If you did not enroll for Medicare benefits when you were initially entitled, you may sign up during the general enrollment period, which runs from January 1st through March 31st each year.
Should you have any questions concerning Medicare enrollment and coverage benefits, you should contact a Social Security Administration office or you may contact Medicare at 1-800-772-1213 or online at www.Medicare.gov.
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 132 retirees, under the condition they continued their Health and Welfare coverage at the time of retirement, are permitted to continue their coverage when they become entitled to Medicare benefits. Each participant must realize when they begin Medicare coverage, they must enroll in both Part A (Hospital Benefits) and Part B (Medical Benefits) in order for the Health and Welfare Fund to continue their coverage. In converting to the Medicare Supplemental Plan, the retirees will receive the same prescription coverage they had through the Fund while they were active employees or making the required self-contributions for full coverage.