I Am Turning 65
A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff
The following web page answers questions employees may have about turning 65, becoming newly Medicare eligible, and how it affects their benefits.
Health & Dental Coverage
If you are still employed by the university, and are turning 65, benefit eligible employees are able to remain covered by the university health and dental plans. The university health insurance plan will remain as your primary coverage and you will not be penalized for not signing up for Medicare Part B as long as you are insured under the university group coverage.
By turning 65 you are eligible to sign up for Medicare Part A. Medicare Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, hospice, and home health services. Medicare Part A is at no cost to you.
To enroll in Medicare you can contact the Social Security Office. There is a seven month window around your 65th birthday in which you are eligible to enroll. Once you are enrolled, please call the number on the back of your Wellmark ID to report your Medicare Part A number.
For any questions regarding Medicare eligibility and how it works, please contact:
3121 Greyhound Drive
Waterloo, IA 50701
Phone: (888) 456-9554
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
Phone: (800) 351-4664
SHIIP services outside of Iowa: https://www.shiptacenter.org/
Phone: (800) 633-4227
Wellmark Medicare Resources
Learn the basics about Medicare, starting with eligibility at the Wellmark Medicare 101 website.
When You Can Make Changes to Your Benefits
Annual Open Enrollment
If you do not make any changes during open enrollment your coverage selection will remain the same.
Qualifying Life Event
You may also enroll, waive, or change your coverage selection based on a qualifying life event.
More Info: Qualifying Life Event
How to Make Changes to Your Benefits
UNI Employee Benefits Self-Service
Benefits Self-Service System is designed to help you enroll, make changes, and view your current benefit elections all in one location. For additional support, visit the Benefits Self-Service Help site.
Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services
Many of us can face challenges every day that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions. Visit our Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services webpage for services that may be useful to you and/or your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Q: Do I have to enroll in Medicare Part A once I turn 65?
It is not required while you are still employed and covered under group insurance, however most people choose to enroll in Part A. It often comes at no cost to you and helps cover hospital costs that would not be covered by the existing health insurance.
- 2Q: Do I have to enroll in Medicare Part B once I turn 65?
You don’t have to enroll in Medicare Part B if you're still covered under group insurance through your employer or your spouse's employer. Part B has a premium that must be paid. To avoid penalty you will want to enroll in a Part B plan as soon as you separate from group coverage, or retire.