Life Events

Turning Age 65 and Applying for Medicare

All eligible STRS Ohio medical plan participants are required to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B or Part B-only at age 65 or when eligible. If you are a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted non-citizen who has resided in the United States for at least five years, you are eligible for Medicare at age 65 even if you are not eligible for Social Security.

Enroll in Medicare three months before your 65th birthday to avoid a delay in Medicare coverage. To enroll, visit your local Social Security Administration office or call Social Security toll-free at 800‑772‑1213. If you are eligible for both Medicare Parts A & B, you can also enroll online at www.ssa.gov. (Medicare Part B-only applicants must visit or call Social Security to enroll.) After you enroll, you must submit proof of Medicare enrollment to STRS Ohio. Your STRS Ohio plan options and premiums will change after proof of Medicare enrollment is received. For more information, see Medicare Enrollment.

If you are not currently enrolled in an STRS Ohio medical plan, you may enroll yourself or an eligible dependent upon initial eligibility and enrollment in Medicare Parts A & B or Part B-only.

Employment

Coverage under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program is limited for non-Medicare enrollees employed in public or private positions. Employed enrollees are eligible only for secondary health care coverage through STRS Ohio’s Basic Plan if they: (1) are eligible for medical and prescription drug coverage through their employer, or (2) hold a position for which other similarly situated employees are eligible for medical and prescription drug coverage at the same cost as full-time employees. The rule applies to all employed enrollees who are not eligible for Medicare, regardless of hire date or type of employment.

STRS Ohio requires non-Medicare enrollees to verify their employment status and access to employer health care coverage annually. To provide verification, log in to your Online Personal Account or submit a Verification of Employment and Employer Health Care Access form. If you prefer to opt out of secondary coverage by canceling your STRS Ohio medical plan enrollment, contact STRS Ohio.

Cancellation of Other Coverage

You may modify your coverage or enroll yourself and/or an eligible dependent in the STRS Ohio Health Care Program if other group coverage is terminating and you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of the event. Coverage may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of the termination of other coverage.

Full Loss of Premium Subsidy

You may modify your coverage within 31 days of full loss of premium subsidy. Coverage changes may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of full loss of premium subsidy.

Marriage

You may modify your coverage or enroll your spouse in the STRS Ohio Health Care Program within 31 days of your marriage. Coverage may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of your marriage.

Birth, Adoption or Legal Guardianship of a Child

You may modify your coverage or enroll an eligible child in the STRS Ohio Health Care Program within 31 days of the birth, adoption or legal guardianship of a child. Coverage may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of your birth, adoption or legal guardianship of a child.

Divorce, Dissolution or Legal Separation

You may modify your coverage within 31 days of your divorce, dissolution or legal separation. Coverage changes may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of your divorce, dissolution or legal separation.

Death of a Spouse or Eligible Dependent

You may modify your coverage within 31 days of your spouse’s or the eligible dependent’s death. Coverage changes may be effective the first of the month following the event if you contact STRS Ohio within 31 days of your spouse’s or eligible dependent’s death.