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Are you becoming eligible for Medicare due to turning 65, disability, or a diagnosis of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)? This page has information about how your Medicare benefits will work with your NYSHIP coverage.

Medicare becomes your primary insurer when you are eligible for Medicare and enrolled in NYSHIP as a retiree, vestee, dependent survivor, or are covered under Preferred List provisions.

Medicare & NYSHIP Video

What You Must Do

  • Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to enroll in Medicare three months before your birthday month. Visit or call 1-800-772-1213.

  • Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (be sure not to decline Part B).

  • If you are eligible for Medicare before age 65, you must notify the Employee Benefits Division that you have enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, and provide a copy of your Medicare card.

  • Do not sign up for any non-NYSHIP Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription plan.

  • Watch your mail for a letter and Medicare information packet from NYSHIP a few months before your 65th birthday.

Medicare FAQs

Medicare Part B Premium Reimbursement

Frequently Asked Questions about NYSHIP's reimbursement of the standard Medicare Part B Premium

Premium Reimbursement FAQs
Medicare Part B IRMAA
(Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount)

Frequently Asked Questions to help you determine if you are eligible for IRMAA reimbursement, how to apply, and more.


Medicare Part D

Medicare-primary Empire Plan enrollees and dependents will automatically be enrolled in the Empire Plan Medicare Rx, a Medicare Part D prescription drug program with expanded coverage designed especially for Empire Plan members.

The Employee Benefits Division is required to send a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program notice annually to all active and retired NYSHIP enrollees and dependents who are 65 or older, or eligible for Medicare due to disability. The notice attests to the creditable coverage status of the NYSHIP prescription drug program.

Notice of Creditable Coverage Letter

Notice of Creditable Coverage Letter (COBRA)

Medicare Card

After you enroll in Medicare, you will receive an individual Medicare card with a unique ID. Bring your Medicare card and your Empire Plan card to doctors' appointments.

Medicare card

NYSHIP Publications

Publications with information relating to Medicare:

Links and Phone Numbers

Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213,

Medicare: 1-800-633-4227,

The Empire Plan: 1-877-769-7447

Empire Plan Medicare Rx: 1-877-769-7447, Option 4

New York State and Local Retirement System: 1-866-805-0990,