Post-Retirement Health Benefits
You must be at least age 65 (unless disabled as determined by Social Security) to participate in Medicare. If you are enrolled in Medicare (Parts A and B) and retired, you and your eligible spouse or eligible surviving spouse (as defined below) may be eligible for financial assistance to purchase post-retirement health benefits from The Episcopal Church Medical Trust. This financial assistance is a separate benefit provided by CPF outside of the Clergy Pension Plan and is referred to as the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy.
If You or Your Spouse Are Under Age 65 When You Retire
You will be eligible to participate in an unsubsidized pre-65 medical plan from The Episcopal Church Medical Trust.
Here Is How the Subsidy Works
- You must have earned at least a minimum of 10 years of Credited Service based on monthly compensation equal to at least 1/12 of the Hypothetical Minimum Compensation (as of January 1, 2018, $1,500 per month). (Note that if you earned any Credited Service under the Clergy Pension Plan prior to January 1, 2018, all of it will count as Credited Service toward the subsidy regardless of your compensation at the time.)
- If you are eligible for the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy, your spouse or surviving spouse is eligible for the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy as long as you were married when you retired under the Clergy Pension Plan, when you commenced receipt of a long-term disability benefit, or on the date of your death, whichever occurs first. In addition, you must have earned at least 12 months of Credited Service while married. Your spouse must also be enrolled in Medicare (Parts A and B).
- A different rule applies if you retire, return to active ministry, and re-retire with a spouse to whom you were not married on your initial retirement date, or if you divorce your spouse before you retire under the Clergy Pension Plan. For information about this rule, please contact our Client Services group.
- If you have earned at least 20 years of Credited Service (based on the compensation threshold referenced above), you will receive the full Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy. If you have earned at least 10 but less than 20 years of Credited Service, the amount of your subsidy will be prorated based on your years of service.
- You may only use your Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy to purchase a Medicare Supplement Health Plan and/or a dental plan offered through The Episcopal Church Medical Trust. If you choose to enroll in a plan that costs more than your subsidy, you must pay for any additional costs.
Here is more information about the plans available through The Episcopal Church Medical Trust:
- There are multiple Medicare Supplement Health Plans, with and without prescription drug coverage, and various dental plans from which to choose. The Medicare Supplement Health Plans that do not offer prescription drug benefits are tailored for those who are enrolled in Medicare Part D.
- All of the Medicare Supplement Health Plans offer coverage for hospitals, physicians, and outpatient and vision services, and currently provide additional benefits, including hearing aids and travel protection, at no additional cost.
- All of the Medicare Supplement Health Plans and dental plans have deductibles and copayments similar to other plans on the marketplace today but at different cost and coverage levels.
- Even if you are not eligible for the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy, once you retire under the Clergy Pension Plan, you and your spouse (or surviving spouse) will have access to the various Medicare Supplement Health Plans and/or dental plans available (by paying the full cost).
- Learn more about the plans.
Important note: CPF plans to continue to provide the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy. However, CPF must maintain sufficient liquidity and assets to pay its pension and other benefit plan obligations. Given uncertain financial markets and their impact on assets, CPF has reserved the right, in its discretion, to change or discontinue providing a Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy.
How it Works
Medicare Secondary Payer
Medicare Secondary Payer is a term generally used when Medicare is not the primary payer of health claims for individuals who are eligible for active health coverage through their employer. The U.S. government designed Medicare to provide health coverage for retired individuals, not actively employed individuals.
If you are age 65 or older and are eligible for active health coverage through your employer, then Medicare will not be the primary payer for your health claims. Instead, you should receive coverage under your employer’s health plan for active employees. This is true regardless of whether or not you have retired under the Clergy Pension Plan.
If you have already retired, however, you need to pay particular attention to the Medicare Secondary Payer rules because they affect your eligibility to receive the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy. If you continue to work in the Episcopal Church after retirement (whether that work falls under a Working While Pensioned exception or not) and are eligible for your employer’s active health coverage, you should receive coverage under your employer’s active health plan. This means that you will not be eligible for coverage under a Medicare Supplement Health Plan offered by The Episcopal Church Medical Trust. If you were receiving the Medicare Supplement Health Plan Subsidy prior to your return to work, that subsidy will stop for as long as you continue to be eligible for active health coverage.
There is an exception from the Medicare Secondary Payer rules for active employees who are employed by small employers. Learn more about the Medicare Secondary Payer Small Employer Exception.
For details about Medicare, please visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.
Refer to the Bulletin for Group Benefit Administrators: Understanding Health Plan Options for Employees Age 65+ for more details.