Is Medicare at 65 Automatic?
If you’re approaching retirement age, you want to know if you automatically get Medicare when you turn 65. If you qualify for Medicare, and collect Social Security retirement or Disability benefits, then you’ll automatically be enrolled into Part A and Part B of Medicare.
Your red white and blue Medicare card will be in the mail to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday.
When Does Medicare Start?
Medicare starts on the 1st day of your birthday month, not on your actual birthday. But if your birthday falls on the 1st of the month, then your Medicare will start one month prior.
If you’re under age 65 and collecting Social Security disability or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, the rules are different.
You’ll get Part A and Part B automatically after 24 months has passed from the time you started disability. Or at age 65 whichever comes first. People with Lou Gehrig’s disease or End Stage renal disease don’t have to wait 24 months to qualify for Medicare.
Social Security And Medicare
One thing to remember is that Social security benefits and Medicare are separate decisions. You can sign up for social security either before or after your Medicare at age 65..Some people will choose to delay claiming their Social Security benefits to get larger payments later on in retirement.
Can I Get Medicare Without Social Security?
If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits yet, then you WILL need to sign up for Medicare. You won’t get Medicare automatically.
Social Security handles all the sign ups for Medicare, and you can sign up a few different ways.
How To Sign Up For Medicare
- The quickest and easiest way to sign up for Medicare is to go online to the social security website at www.SSA.GOV and register for a My Social Security account and sign up for Medicare on the site. Check out our post which includes a video called How To Sign Up For Medicare Online – Step By Step.
- The second way is to call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and set up an appointment to submit your application over the phone. Sometimes they schedule appointments a month or so out, so make sure you have enough time so you don’t miss your first month of Medicare eligibility.
- Another way to sign up is to apply in person at a local Social security office. It’s best to call first to make sure they’re open. You can also print an application and mail it in.
People in certain situations may choose to delay signing up for Medicare. Some choose to sign up for Part A only, since most of the time there’s no cost for it.
If you’re actively working you have the right to remain on your employer health insurance, and Medicare will coordinate with that coverage. How much Medicare will pay, depends on the size of your employer and whether Medicare pays primary or secondary to your employer coverage.
You’ll want to compare the costs of your employer coverage to that of Medicare. And if your spouse is on your insurance plan, then that’s something else you need to take into consideration. Sometimes Medicare plus a Supplement makes more sense, but not always.
So getting Medicare at 65 is not always automatic. If you have any questions, give us a call at (800) 783-5901 and we’ll help you decide what’s best for your situation.