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My Benefits | My Spouse is Turning 65

My Spouse is Turning 65

A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

The following web page answers questions employees may have about their spouse turning 65, becoming newly Medicare eligible, and how that affects their benefits.

Benefits Information

Health & Dental Coverage

If you are still employed by the university, and your spouse is turning 65, they are eligible to remain on your university health and dental plans, and it will remain as their primary coverage.

By turning 65 your spouse is now 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.

If your spouse chooses to enroll in Medicare part B as their primary insurance and you wish to remove them from your coverage, you have 30 days from the date your spouse turns 65 or 30 days from the date your spouse's Medicare coverage begins, whichever is earlier, to remove them from your plan. You must provide the documentation showing their Medicare effective date. If you have missed this time frame, you may make changes to your plan during Open Enrollment.

Your spouse turning 65 allows you to make any necessary changes to your benefits, such as removing your spouse or changing health plans if needed. Please utilize Benefits Self-Service to make any changes.

For questions regarding Medicare eligibility and how it works, please contact:

  • Launch Map Icon
    Waterloo Social Security Office
    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
    Web: https://shiip.iowa.gov/
    SHIIP services outside of Iowa: https://shiip.iowa.gov/States.aspx
  • Medicare
    Phone: (800) 633-4227
    Web: https://www.medicare.gov/

Wellmark Medicare Resources

Learn the basics about Medicare, starting with eligibility at the Wellmark Medicare 101 website.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1Q: Does my spouse have to enroll in Medicare Part A when they turn 65?

    It is not required while they are still 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.

  2. 2Q: Does my spouse have to enroll in Medicare Part B when they turn 65?

    They don’t have to enroll in Medicare Part B if they are still covered under UNI group insurance under your plan. Part B has a premium that must be paid. To avoid penalty they will want to enroll in a Part B plan as soon as you separate from group coverage, or retire.

  3. 3Q: Am I allowed to remove my spouse from my insurance coverage due to them turning 65?

    Your spouse turning 65 allows you to make any necessary changes to your benefits, such as removing your spouse or changing health plans if needed. Please utilize Benefits Self-Service to make any changes.

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