Many seniors think that they have to collect their Social Security benefits in order to enroll in Medicare. While yes, Medicare and Social Security go hand in hand in some ways, it does not necessarily mean you have to collect your SS benefits quite yet. They are separate. A person is able to collect Social Security benefits as early as age 62, and the latest you can begin collecting is age 70. Full retirement age is 66 years old. What all of this means is the earlier you collect benefits, then the lower your monthly benefits will be. Medicare benefits work differently. You must enroll in Medicare when you turn 65, or there are penalties, and you do not have to collect Social Security in order to begin Medicare. The following section provides an in-depth explanation of how it all works.
When To Sign Up For Medicare
While it pays to wait to collect Social Security benefits at a later age, this is not the case for Medicare. If you do not sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period (3 months before you turn 65, the month of your 65th birthday, and the following 3 months), it will cost you. You will have to pay a 10% increase in your Part B premiums for every year you do not sign up.
If you are still working and covered through your employer’s health benefits, then you will receive a special enrollment period once you leave your job. The job must have at least 20 or more employees, and if they do not, then you will need to sign up for Medicare during the initial enrollment period, or you will face the fine.
Auto-enrollment into Medicare happens when you are collecting Social Security benefits. If you decide to collect your Social Security benefits before age 65, the government will assume you have retired. So when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled into Medicare Parts A and B. You cannot enroll into Medicare before the age of 65, even if you are collecting SS benefits.
If you are working, then you can opt out of Medicare Part B, as long as the employer has 20 or more employees. But, you must keep Part A because you cannot have Social Security without Part A.
Social Security Sets off Part A
As mentioned above, Social Security benefits are essentially linked with Medicare Part A. The reason you do not pay for Part A is that you have paid taxes during your working career towards these benefits.
Medicare Is Possible Without Social Security
You can certainly enroll in Medicare without collecting Social Security benefits. You have the option of waiting until you are 70 years old to start collecting these SS benefits. The longer you wait to start collecting SS, the more benefits you will receive monthly. However, you cannot afford to wait to sign up for Medicare. The longer you wait past your 65-year-old initial enrollment period, the heftier the repercussions may be on your Part B premiums.
If you do sign up for Social Security benefits before the age of 65, then when you turn 65 years old, you will automatically be enrolled at least into Medicare Part A. No exceptions. Most people choose to have their Medicare Part B premiums automatically withheld from their checks. So, if you do decide to hold off on collecting your Social Security benefits, know that you will have to pay the Part B premiums out of pocket. This is about $135.50 a month.
If you have questions or need Medicare help, our agents are ready to help. EZ.Insure offers highly trained Medicare agents in your region. They will assist you with any questions you have regarding Medicare, and help you save money by looking into Medicare Supplement plans. They will provide you with quotes and guide you in the best direction for your situation. Get started by entering your zip code in the bar above, or to connect with an agent email email@example.com or call 855-220-1144.