Early retirement health benefits

Introducing the UNITE HERE Northwest Health Trust’s Early Retiree Health Benefits Program – Your bridge to Medicare

Retiring before age 65? You may be planning to retire early or, for some unplanned reason need to retire earlier than anticipated. Although you may have done a good job of planning your retirement, if you retire early, you may have gap years, which can result in a mad scramble to find affordable, quality health care coverage until you are eligible for Medicare at age 65. To assist in bridging the gap between early retirement and Medicare, the Trustees have implemented an Early Retiree Health Benefits Program to ensure you will have access to the same Trust health coverage you have come to rely on.

What this means to you:
Under the new program, Trust participants who meet the following requirements will be eligible to enroll in the Early Retiree Health Benefits Program:

  • are at least age 55
  • are retired
  • have at least (20) years of service or the equivalent number of months (240) as a participant in the UNITE HERE Northwest Health Trust Fund
  • have exhausted their continuation coverage under COBRA (18 months)

Participants enrolled in this program will make self-payments to the Trust at the same rate and benefits as their prior COBRA coverage and would have coverage under this program up to the month before they turn age 65, consistent with Medicare’s enrollment rules. Should the program need to end, any participants already on COBRA who meet the other requirements would still be eligible to remain on the program until reaching Medicare age.

If you have questions about this new program or to find out if you are eligible to enroll, call the Trust Administration Office at (206) 753-1097 or toll free at (844) 411-0786.

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