For many, your 65th birthday is synonymous with becoming eligible for Medicare, but did you know that you could be eligible for Medicare before 65? Or even after 65?
Medicare at 65
Most people are eligible for Traditional Medicare (made up of Part A and Part B) if they are:
- A U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident for at least 5 consecutive years
- Age 65 or older and eligible for Social Security
- Permanently disabled and receiving disability benefits for at least two years
- Have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
- Have Lou Gehrig’s disease
This also depends largely on your employment situation. If you are still working, there may be some other considerations. But for the most part, people who fit into one or more of the descriptions above are most likely able to get their Part A and Part B benefits at age 65.
“What if I’m under 65? Can I get Medicare benefits?”
If you are permanently disabled and receive disability benefits for at least two years, you most likely qualify for Medicare before 65. You automatically get Part A and Part B after you get disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for 24 months.
You may also be able to get Medicare benefits early if you have ESRD (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant). However, you will have to sign up for Medicare benefits manually, because enrollment under the condition of ESRD is not automatic.
Not sure how to manually sign up for your Medicare benefits? RetireMED®iQ can help! Call us at 1-844-388-6565 for guidance on what you need to do.
You may also be eligible for early
Medicare benefits if you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS). If you have ALS, you are automatically enrolled in Parts A and B the month that your disability benefits kick in.
“Do I have to take Medicare benefits at 65?”
The short answer is no. If you are working or have coverage through a spouse, you may want to consider deferring Medicare.
However, we strongly caution you to get expert advice on what to do if you aren’t sure. Many individuals are given misinformation about how and when to defer Medicare, and not enrolling at the right time can lead to lifelong penalties and even periods without health insurance. Trust us, it’s not fun.
RetireMED®iQ can help you understand whether Medicare is right for you at 65 or not. Give us a call at 1-844-388-6565 to talk to one of our licensed advisors about your situation.
“What makes me eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan or a Prescription Drug plan?”
Medicare Advantage plans (MA) are offered through private insurance companies and are simply another way to get Part A and Part B benefits. In order to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to already be enrolled in Part A and Part B. It’s also important to note that you still have to pay your Part B premiums with a Medicare Advantage plan.
Part D plans (PDPs) are also available through private insurers, and offer prescription drug coverage. PDPs can only be purchased if you are already enrolled in Part A. You can also get drug coverage through certain Medicare Advantage plans called MAPD plans.
If you are interested in learning about your MA or MAPD options, please call RetireMED®iQ – we can help you understand which plans are right for you!