Retirement and Medicare

Moving into retirement or Medicare can be confusing, but Bethany Benefit Service would like to make it simpler for you. Listed below are answers to a few questions you may be asking.

Retiree Benefits

You have thirty days after the end of the month in which you retire to apply for retiree benefits through Bethany Benefit Service. If you were enrolled in Bethany Benefit Service immediately before you retired and your spouse is still working, you may also choose to join your spouse’s employee health insurance plan and enroll in retiree benefits within thirty days of your spouse’s retirement.

If your employer does not purchase Bethany Benefit Service coverage but you are vested in the Covenant Pension Plan, you may enroll in Bethany Benefit Service when you retire, when your spouse retires, or when you begin withdrawing from the Covenant Pension Fund.

Please visit our Benefits and Rates page for an outline of our benefits offered. As a retiree, you are eligible for all benefits listed except life and long-term disability.

When you enroll in retiree benefits, your benefits package will only change slightly.

  • If you are 65 or older and worked for an institution that employed twenty or more employees and your medical coverage had not previously changed, you must apply for Medicare B and your medical coverage will change to a secondary plan to Medicare.
  • If you find a different Medicare supplement policy that you prefer, you may enroll in dental and vision benefits separate from medical and prescription.
  • If you find a Medicare supplement policy that fits your lifestyle better, you may enroll in dental and vision benefits separate from medical and prescription (beginning January 1, 2014).
  • You are no longer eligible for life and long-term disability benefits–these benefits will be terminated on your last day of employment.

Please contact Bethany Benefit Service when you plan to retire to receive instructions on how to apply for retiree benefits.


Click here to view the current Medicare Handbook, published by the United States government.

Medicare A: You are required to enroll in Medicare A to start on the first day of the month of your 65th birthday (if your birthday is the first of the month, Medicare will begin one month early for you).

Medicare B: This is only required if Medicare will be your primary medical insurance payor. This means Medicare will pay the covered portion of your medical claims first and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will pay the remaining covered portion. Medicare will be your primary payor if:

  • You are enrolled in retiree benefits.
  • You work for an institution that employs less than 20 individuals for at least 32 weeks of the calendar year.

Medicare D: When actively working, you are not required to enroll in Medicare D. If you are enrolled in Bethany Benefit Service’s retiree benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare D through Express Scripts and do not need to find an alternate Medicare D prescription plan. If you prefer to find an alternate Medicare D plan, your plan through Express Scripts will be automatically canceled, but your premium rate will not be reduced.