If you retire and begin collecting Social Security benefits at age 62, you may wonder if you can get Medicare at age 62 as well.
The answer is that in many cases, you cannot get Medicare at age 62. You typically must be at least 65 years old to receive Medicare, even if you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. There are some exceptions to this rule, however.
Learn more about Medicare eligibility both after and before age 65.
You must typically meet two requirements to receive Medicare benefits:
In order to receive premium-free Part A of Medicare, you must meet both of the above requirements and qualify for full Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, which requires working and paying Social Security taxes for at least 10 full years (40 quarters).
There are a few exceptions to the age-65 rule.
If you have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), you are immediately eligible for Medicare regardless of your age as soon as your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits begin.
You may also qualify for Medicare if you have kidney failure that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant, which is known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
You may also qualify for Medicare at age 62 or any age before 65 if you receive disability benefits from either Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 24 months.
If you qualify for Medicare under the age of 65 because of a disability, you might also qualify for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan.
Although reaching age 62 does not qualify you for Medicare, it can carry some significance for your spouse if they receive Medicare benefits.
When one spouse in a couple turns 62 years old, the other spouse who is at least 65 years old may now qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A if they haven’t yet qualified based on their own work history.
For example, Gerald is 65 years old, but he doesn’t qualify for premium-free Part A because he did not work the minimum number of years required for eligibility. He can still receive Medicare Part A, but he will have to pay a monthly premium for it. In 2019, the Medicare Part A premium can be as high as $437 per month.
Let’s say Gerald’s wife, Jessica, reaches age 62 and has worked for the required number of years to qualify for premium-free Part A once she turns 65. Because Jessica is now 62 years old and has met the working requirement, Gerald may now receive premium-free Part A.
If you have further questions about Medicare eligibility, contact a licensed insurance agent today. A licensed agent can help answer your questions and help you compare Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) that are available where you live.
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