Turning 65!

As you approach age 65 and are still working at Windstream, there are several healthcare options to consider. No single solution is right for every person.

Should I remain on Windstream’s medical plan or move to Medicare?

You can enroll in one or more parts of Medicare up to 3 months prior to turning age 65. Part A provides hospital coverage and is generally offered to you at no cost. Many people sign up for Medicare Part A while keeping Windstream’s medical coverage. While you are actively employed, Windstream’s plan is the primary coverage/payer according to universal coordination of benefit rules. If you enroll in Windstream’s Medical plan, Windstream would process the claim first and then it would be sent to Medicare.

If you enroll in any part of Medicare, you and/or Windstream are no longer permitted to contribute to a Health Savings Account.  Please contact Businessolver at 888-850-1712 if you enroll in Medicare and are no longer eligible for a Health Savings Account. If you enroll in Part A at age 65, coverage begins the month in which you turn 65. If you enroll in Part A after turning 65, coverage begins six months before you enroll. For full details, please see https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf

If you have a spouse and/or child(ren) who are under age 65 and are on Windstream’s medical plan, please note that YOU must continue participation in Windstream’s plan (via enrollment each year) or your dependents will not be eligible to participate.

Are there coverage options to consider in addition to having Medicare?

There is a robust marketplace of products that supplement Medicare. They are generally called Medicare Supplement and MediGap plans. There are also pharmacy plans. You can shop through directly with any of the major insurance carriers.

If I decide to delay my Medicare enrollment, what do I need to do when I enroll in Medicare after age 65 (either before or after retirement)?

If you are over age 65 and did not enroll in all parts of Medicare when you turned 65 because you still had Windstream sponsored medical coverage, you will need a completed Medicare Form CMS-L564 to enroll in Medicare at the point of retirement. This form verifies that you and/or your spouse had Windstream’s medical coverage until the point of your retirement and allows you to begin Medicare coverage without a rate penalty for late enrollment. The form can be found at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.pdf. Please complete your portion of the form and create a ticket in the HR Solutions Center to have the employer section of the form completed by the Benefits team and returned to you.

If I enroll in Medicare, can I still enroll in Windstream’s non-medical benefit plans?

Yes, you can continue to enroll in Windstream’s other benefit plans including dental, vision, FSA, life insurance, and voluntary products. Annual enrollment is required to continue having dental, vision, and FSA coverage.

If I have further questions, who should I contact?

Businessolver at 888-850-1712 can assist with enrollment changes such as ending medical insurance and/or HSA enrollment. You have 30 days from the date of your Medicare coverage to update your Windstream coverage. It is your responsibility to make the necessary changes – Medicare does not notify Windstream of you enrollment.

The Windstream Benefits Team can be reached via the HR Solutions Center for other questions.