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At What Age Can You Get Medicare Benefits

Your Social Security Benefits Could Be Reducedtemporarily

What Is Medicare?

Your age matters here, as well see below, but any reductions that do occur are temporary. The IRS will eventually recalculate your benefit and give you credit for months when you didnt receive a benefit, thereby boosting your future benefit. So, dont let a temporary reduction in payments keep you from returning to work. Heres how the age rules work:

If you havent yet reached your full retirement age between 66 and 67 for people born in 1943 or laterworking could mean temporarily giving up $1 in benefits for every $2 you earn above the annual limit .

Heres an example of how that might look:

The Age When You Begin Claiming Social Security Benefits

You can begin claiming Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, claiming before your full retirement age will lead to a permanent reduction in your benefit amount. The longer you wait, the larger your benefit will beuntil you reach age 70, at which point additional delays do not result in further increases.

Waiting has a positive impact on your benefit amount. For instance, if you were born in 1961, earned $100,000 each year, and claimed your benefits in 2023 at age 62, you could receive $19,704 per year. If instead you wait until your FRA and continue to work, your benefits would increase to $30,408 per yeara 54% boost. If you wait until age 70, your benefits would be $38,760 per year, or 97% more than your early benefits. These increases are permanent.

The trade-off with any decision to delay is that you wont receive benefits during those early years. For many people, it makes sense to delay claiming, says Young. If you live a normal life expectancy, then the effective rate of return you get by waiting for a higher payment is reasonable. However, if you dont expect to live long, or are single and not worried about outliving your funds, then it may be wise not to delay.

Your Full Retirement Age

Can I Get Medicare As Soon As I Retire


If youâre getting ready to retire on the early side â say, at 62 â you may be wondering whether you are eligible for Medicare once you stop receiving your employerâs health insurance. The answer: probably not.

Almost everyone will have to wait until they turn 65 before they qualify for Medicare coverage, says Caitlin Donovan, a spokesperson for the National Patient Advocate Foundation. The exception is if you have a specific disability.

One reason for the common confusion? You can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62. But the rules for enrolling in Medicare differ from those for Social Security.

Whatâs more, even if your spouse is old enough to qualify for Medicare, you canât start receiving it until youâre 65. Thatâs because, unlike the health insurance plans offered by many employers, Medicare isnât a group plan. Itâs an individual one.

The reverse is also true: âYou canât enroll in Medicare and also cover your spouse if they donât qualify on their own,â says Donovan.

eHealth is here to make Medicare easy. Use our PlanPrescriber tool to find plans that fit your budget and cover your doctors.

Here are answers to some other common questions about qualifying for Medicare.

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Medicaid Or Medicare Savings Programs

Medicare beneficiaries with limited income or very high medical costs may be eligible to receive assistance from the Medicaid program. There are also Medicare Savings Programs for other limited-income beneficiaries that may help pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. There are specified income and resources limits for both programs. Contact your local county Department of Social Services or SHIIP to apply for one of these programs.

Eligibility For Medicare At Age 60

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To understand what eligibility for Medicare might look like at age 60, it helps to understand what eligibility looks like today. Today, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 as long as you have been a U.S. citizen for at least five years. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, then you will be automatically enrolled in coverage. Those who are not yet receiving retirement benefits will need to apply for coverage. If the proposed Medicare legislation passes the House and Senate, then here is what you can expect.

You would become eligible for Medicare at age 60 instead of age 65. The five-year U.S. citizenship rule would likely still apply. Since most people are not receiving Social Security benefits at age 60, they would need to apply for Medicare coverage at that age manually. The provisions that allow younger individuals to qualify for Medicare likely would not change.

Younger individuals would still be able to receive Medicare after having been on Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months. Similarly, younger people who are diagnosed with ALS or ESRD could still sign up for Medicare as well. Remember that Medicare and Medicaid are two completely separate insurance programs. Medicare is administered by the Federal government, and it mostly provides coverage for older individuals. Medicaid, on the other hand, is primarily administered by state governments. It is meant to provide health coverage for low-income individuals and families.

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How Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits

Qualifying for SSDI is a complicated process and many people find the need to consult an attorney to expedite the process. SSA has instructions and offers an online application.

Qualification for SSDI has only two criteria, which are not entirely straightforward.

  • You must have worked in jobs covered by SSA and worked enough quarters to qualify. Generally, the qualification is the same as Medicare 40 quarters of qualifying work with 20 earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. Learn how you can earn credits.
  • Your medical condition must meet SSAs strict definition of disability. This can be a tricky area to discern and is often the reason for seeking counsel. However, an article on the SSA website Disability Evaluation Under Social Security educates on this subject. Medicare Eligibility For People With Disabilities is also helpful in understanding SSDI qualifications.
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    Does Medicare Cover The Costs Of Durable Medical Equipment

    Medicare does cover durable medical equipment, which is equipment that serves a medical purpose, is able to withstand repeated use, and is appropriate for use in the home. Original Medicare normally pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet your Part B deductible and you are responsible for a 20% coinsurance. Medicare only covers durable medical equipment if your provider says it is medically necessary for use in the home. You must also order the equipment from suppliers who contract with Original Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your plan will have its own cost and coverage rules for durable medical equipment. For a more comprehensive list of what is covered, please visit Durable Medical Equipment section in the Medicare and You handbook.

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    Get Started With Medicare

    Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. Youre first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease , or ALS .

    Follow these steps to learn about Medicare, how to sign up, and your coverage options. Learn about it at your own pace.

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    Am I Eligible For Medicare Part B

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    When you receive notification that youre eligible for Medicare Part A, youll also be notified that youre eligible for Part B coverage, which is optional and has a premium for all enrollees.

    Part B costs $170.10/month for most enrollees in 2022, although Part B costs more if your income is more than $91,000 .

    Its important to enroll in both Part A and Part B. You have an enrollment window that runs for seven months . And while you can enroll in the three months following your 65th birthday, its best to enroll in Part B early, or you could have gaps in health coverage. If you wait too long, you could end up locked out of Part B and have to wait until the next general Medicare enrollment period.

    If you dont enroll during your initial window, you wont lose eligibility for Part B, but you will be penalized with an increased premium when you eventually enroll, which climbs 10% for each year that youre eligible but dont enroll in Part B . The General Enrollment Period for Medicare A and B runs from January 1 to March 31 each year, for coverage effective July 1 with an increased premium if the late enrollment penalty applies.

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    Eligibility For People With Als

    People with ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease, can qualify for Medicare when they are under 65 years of age.

    ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that disrupts a persons ability to speak, move, eat, and ultimately breathe. The condition has no cure and is eventually fatal.

    According to the ALS Association, an estimated 16,000 people in the United States have the disorder. A doctor usually diagnoses ALS between the ages of 4070 years.

    Unlike ESRD, those with ALS can receive Medicare Part A benefits in their first month of receiving Social Security or RRB benefits.

    The SSA automatically enrolls a person with ALS in a Medicare plan when they start paying Social Security benefits.

    According to a 2017 review in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, a persons monthly costs with ALS under Medicare can total $10,398 during the month of their diagnosis.

    ALS often progresses rapidly and leads to high healthcare costs. This is why a persons Medicare benefits will usually begin as soon as possible.

    What Is The Medicare Eligibility Age

    For just about everyone, the Medicare eligibility age is 65. At that point, youll have access to Medicare Part A and are able to purchase Medicare Part B. For some with disabilities or End Stage renal disease, though, eligibility may come at a younger age. Most people are eligible to receive part A without having to pay for it, but there are a few exceptions, which well note in further detail below. For help with healthcare planning and other questions about finances and retirement, consider working with a financial advisor.

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    Whats The Difference Between 62 And 65 Social Security Benefits

    62, you will get 79.6 percent of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 60 months. 65, you will get 91.9 percent of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 24 months.

    How to find out if your Social Security benefits will be reduced at full retirement age?

    To find out how much your benefit will be reduced if you begin receiving benefits from age 62 up to your full retirement age, use the chart below and select your year of birth. This example is based on an estimated monthly benefit of $1000 at full retirement age. Year of Birth 1. Months between age 62 and full retirement age 2. At Age 62 3.

    When Can I Start Getting Medicare Benefits

    What Age Are You Eligible For Medicare Part B

    Medicare Eligibility Age. The current Medicare eligibility age is 65. This means that people 65 and over are eligible to begin receiving Medicarebenefits. Besides your age, you must also meet further requirements to receive Medicarebenefits. First off, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident in the U.S. for at least five years.

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    If You Have A Qualifying Disability You May Be Eligible Earlier Than Age 65

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    When you think of Medicare, you probably assume its for retirees. And thats true. The standard age of eligibility is 65. But the program also covers people with disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease and ALS .

    Medicare Eligibility Age Chart

    Most older adults are familiar with Medicare and its eligibility age of 65. You can qualify for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B by:

    • Being age 65 or older
    • Living with a qualifying disability
    • Living with certain health conditions, like end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Individuals under 65 and already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for 24 months are eligible for Medicare. Still, most beneficiaries enroll at 65 when they become eligible for Medicare.

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    You Can Receive Medicare Without Taking Your Social Security Benefits

    Medicare and Social Security aid older Americans and their spouses who paid into the programs through FICA taxes during their working years.

    Medicare provides both free and cost-effective health insurance coverage for eligible older adults who are 65 years of age or older. Social Security retirement benefits act as a small pension, providing monthly income to those eligible as early as age 62.

    Even if you are eligible to start receiving benefits, you do not have to start taking them. In some cases, it may be better to delay or to start taking benefits from one program but not the other.

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    What If Disability Benefits Aren’t Enough

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    Whether you receive SSDI or retirement benefits, surviving on Social Security alone can be a challenge. If you’re struggling with expenses, use benefits.gov to see if you could be eligible for other forms of assistance. The online form takes 10 to 30 minutes to complete. After you’ve been eligible for SSDI benefits for 24 months, you’ll also qualify for Medicare, which should provide some relief.

    If you can work part-time, you can do so without jeopardizing your benefits, but you can’t engage in what Social Security calls “substantial gainful activity.” In other words, you’ll face strict income limits. In 2023, you can earn up to $1,470 a month if you’re not blind or $2,460 a month if you’re blind. Earnings above these amounts will make you ineligible for disability benefits.

    However, there is an exception: Social Security allows disability recipients a nine-month trial work period, during which they can test their ability to work without affecting benefits. During these nine months, you can receive your full SSDI payment, no matter how much you earn. You can use your nine months consecutively or spread them out over a 60-month period. Social Security will count any month in which you earn at least $1,050 as one of your trial work period months in 2023.


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    How Do I Enroll In A Prescription Drug Plan

    The Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are sold by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. All people new to Medicare have a seven-month window to enroll in a PDP three months before, the month of and three months after their Medicare becomes effective. The month you enroll affects the PDPs effective date. All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in a PDP however, unless you are new to Medicare or are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period, you must enroll or change plans during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. There is a monthly premium for these plans.

    For assistance with Part D plan comparisons and enrollments, please call our team of Medicare specialists at 1-855-408-1212 or you may log onto MyMedicare.gov to shop for prescription drug plans available in your area.

    If you have limited income and assets/resources, assistance is available to help pay premiums, deductibles and co-payments. You may be entitled to Extra Help through the Social Security Administration. To apply for this benefit contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov.

    Medicare Age Eligibility Exceptions

    You may sign up for Medicare at any age if you meet one of the following criteria:

    • A family member is enrolled in Medicare
    • You get Social Security disability or Railroad Retirement Board disability insurance
    • You have certain medical conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or end stage renal disease

    Social Security disability

    In case you are under age 65 and have been getting Social Security disability benefits for two years, you meet all the requirements to be eligible for Medicare. You can enroll in your 22nd month of getting these benefits, and your coverage will start in your 25th month of getting them. In case you are qualified for monthly benefits depending on an occupational disability and have been allowed a disability freeze, you become qualified for Medicare on the 30th month after the date of the freeze.

    RRB disability

    If you get a disability pension from the RRB and meet specific criteria, you may be qualified for Medicare before the age of 65.

    Specific health conditions

    In order to get Medicare disability benefits, you need to first be receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for 2 years. There is usually a five-month waiting period after a worker or widow is classified as disabled before they can get SSDI benefits. During this waiting period, the individual may be qualified for coverage under an employers health plan or, through COBRA, if they are not employed anymore. You may be qualified for Medicare if you have either:

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