Medicare eligibility starts for most Americans when they turn 65 years old. Those who have been on Social Security eligibility for 24 months can also qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B.
It is not uncommon for people to think that their Medicare eligibility date coincides with their Social Security date. It does not. Full Social Security benefits for most individuals starts at age 66 – a full year after Medicare eligibility. This confusion could lead to a Late Enrollment Penalty added to your Part B premium. That penalty never goes away once it is triggered.
If you are receiving Social Security benefits at least four months before being eligible for Medicare and reside in the United States, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B. You can look for your Medicare card in the mail 3-4 months before your 65th birthday.
Medicare Eligibility for Part A
Most people get Part A for free. Part A is the part of Medicare that pays for most of your inpatient care and home health care.
If you or your spouse worked legally in the United States for 40 quarters (or 10 years) you will receive Part A at no charge. If you did not work enough quarters, you may enroll in Part A for a premium. There is updated information on the Medicare.gov website that explains what your costs will be.
Medicare Eligibility for Part B
When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare Part B, as well. However, some individuals choose to continue working past age 65. If you are working past age 65 and can get health insurance through your employer, you can postpone enrolling in Part B. Group coverage through your employer is considered creditable coverage. This allows you to enroll in Part B at a later date without a Late Enrollment Penalty once your group coverage ends.
Delaying your Part B enrollment could entitle you a different Open Enrollment Period or Guaranteed Issue status when enrolling in a Medicare plan. Call us to discuss what your options are and how a delay in Part B could affect your coverage options.
Click here for information from the Medicare.gov website concerning what your options are for delaying your Part B enrollment.
Determining Your Medicare Eligibility
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to Medicare eligibility and enrollment. It can be a little confusing and overwhelming. These are issues we deal with every day. We can answer your questions about Medicare eligibility no matter what coverage you may have right now.
Call us at 1-888-228-6119 and let us answer your questions and ease your mind. We are here to serve you and our service is free.
Be sure to enroll in our FREE 5-day email Medicare Made Easy mini-course. We have put together this quick course spread over 5 days to help those who are new to Medicare. There is also a worksheet to help you keep track of the items you need to address when turning 65. To register that email mini-course, click on this link.