A: No. Anyone about to turn 65, or already 65 or older and still employed with the City of Houston with medical insurance, does not have to go on Medicare. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (cms.gov) automatically enrolls you for Medicare Part A for hospital, which will be secondary to your coverage with the city. You will not pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A.
When you decide to retire, you will need to apply for Medicare Part B, for which you will pay a monthly premium. You will also need to contact the City of Houston’s Benefits division so a representative can assist you with learning about your post-retirement benefits options — medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. To ensure Medicare Part B and your City benefits are available on your retirement date, you should apply for both at least two months before your retirement becomes effective.
Q: Does the city offer a flexible spending account for dependent care?
A: Yes, the city offers the Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan flexible spending account for employees. Enrollment is from Nov. 16-Dec. 16, 2015. The plan year is January-December 2016.
A dependent care FSA is a great way to pay dependent care expenses and lower your taxable income. Here's how it works:
- Direct part of your before-tax pay into a special account to help pay work-related dependent care costs.
- Use your account throughout the year to pay for eligible expenses.
Eligible expenses include daycare, after-school care and adult daycare for qualifying dependents. Refer to Publication 503 on the IRS website at www.irs.gov for more information on qualifying dependents.
You can contribute up to $5,000 a year to your dependent care FSA. Balances do not carry over, so you’ll need use it by the end of the year or lose it.