You Can Receive Medicare Without Taking Your Social Security Benefits
Medicare provides both free and cost-effective health insurance coverage for eligible older adults who are 65 years of age or older. Social Security retirement benefits act as a small pension, providing monthly income to those eligible as early as age 62.
Even if you are eligible to start receiving benefits, you do not have to start taking them. In some cases, it may be better to delay or to start taking benefits from one program but not the other.
Medicare For Divorced Spouse
The Social Security Administration requires you to meet specific criteria to qualify for Medicare benefits from a divorce. Qualifying for Medicare is different than Social Security benefits. You can be eligible for your spouse/ex-spouse Social Security benefits at age 62, and you wont qualify for Medicare until age 65. Of course, you may be eligible for Medicare sooner if you have End-Stage Renal Disease or disability for at least two years.
If youre 62 and your spouse or ex-spouse is 65, you CANNOT use their Medicare benefits for eligibility. You must wait until the age of 65 to qualify unless youre eligible through disability.
If the following situations apply, you may qualify for Medicare after divorce:
- Your ex-spouse is at least 62 years old and eligible for Social Security.
- You must be currently unmarried.
- Youre at least 65 years old.
- You were married for 10+ years.
Part A benefits are free when you, a current or former spouse, have at least 40 calendar quarters of work or ten years of work history paying into Social Security.
Getting Ready For Medicare
Once you’ve figured out how to bridge the gap to Medicare, you’ll need to explore Medicare itself as you approach 65, the age when most people become eligible. There’s a lot to learn. If you’re like most people, you may be confused about how and when to transition from your interim coverage to Medicareand when you need to do it. And remember, Medicare coverage is provided to each eligible individual who enrolls. You cannot cover your spouse under your Medicare coverage they will have to enroll on their own when eligible. Here are answers to 6 common questions:
Read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: 6 key Medicare questions
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How To Get Health Insurance When You Retire Early
How to Get Health Insurance When You Retire Early SmartAsset Retiring early sounds nice, but it means youre off your employer plan before youre eligible for Medicare. Here are your options for health coverage Loading Helping You Find Financial Advisors Home Buying Calculators How Much House Can I Afford? Mortgage Calculator Rent vs Buy
Insure But Also Take Good Care Of Your Health
The biggest thing to remember about early retirement, though, is to stay active and healthy, Purkat shares.
The worst thing you can do in retirement is sit around the house all day, He says. Be sure to exercise, stay involved in your community or even work a part-time job. These acts will all contribute to your overall health and wellbeing and can help keep your health care costs lower.
Studies have shown that staying physically active can also help fight off the onset of Alzheimers, the most common neurodegenerative disorder. This underscores the danger of a sedentary lifestyle.
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The Challenges Of Changing Medicares Age Of Eligibility
First, there are the funding issues. If lowering the age to access increased the cost to administer the Medicare program, the chances of proposed changes passing will drop.
The Part A account that funds the hospitalization and related services faces insolvency by 2026. Insolvency means that Medicare wouldnt be able to fully reimburse hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies for promised benefits.
If this happens, Medicare patients would be hit hard. Theres no way around this. You cannot cut provider payments for medical services without impacting the beneficiaries of those services.
In response to the funding concerns, the Democrats who are sponsoring this bill say that Medicares funding wouldnt be touched under the proposed legislation since those buying the coverage would be required to pay the entire cost.
That means whatever the cost is to the government, would also be the cost to the individual.
Second, youre going to get lots of pushback from healthcare and health insurance companies. Theyll spend millions to lobby against this, which could impact the outcome of the law changes.
From the hospitals perspective, theyll be losing millions of Americans from their most profitable group of patients: Those who are 50 and up and covered by private healthcare. There is a big difference between the reimbursement rate between a Medicare patient and a patient with private health insurance.
Do You Have To Get Health Insurance
Learn whether you must have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act in your state.
As we head into open enrollment for 2021 insurance plans, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. And, technically speaking, the law still says that you must have health insurance. But and this is a big but the tax penalty for going without health insurance has been reduced to zero.
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Reason #: Retire At 62 If You Know What Else You Want To Do
Do you have a dream that youve always wanted to pursue, but never had the time? Maybe you want to write a novel. Have you toyed with the idea of joining the community theater? Or perhaps youve always wanted to grow your own food on a farm. Maybe you want to raise sheep, harvest the wool, and open a yarn shop.
If you have a real goal and you know youre passionate about it, youve got a good if not GREAT reason to retire early.
They say that no one ever reached very old age regretting the things that they did. Whats regretted are the things not tried, the chances not taken, the dreams left dusty and neglected on a shelf. If you are able, retiring at 62 can give you many years to seek out that dream and really enjoy it.
Retirees Can Use Cobra Insurance For 18 Months
Your mom would be eligible for COBRA continuation when she retires. Retirement is a qualifying event. When a qualified beneficiary retires from their job, the retired worker is entitled for up to 18 months health insurance continuation, which is the maximum amount of time an employee can keep COBRA continuation. If the employee retires and is entitled to Medicare on the same date, then their spouse or dependent would be eligible to continue on their group health plan for up to 36 months.
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What Is A Cobra Plan
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss,
Do I Need Medicare Or An Obamacare Plan
When it comes to choosing between Medicare or Obamacare, theres no single right answer.
You can check with healthcare.gov to determine your eligibility and to make sure you dont let your health insurance coverage lapse.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans that may be available in your area, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare plan specifics such as costs, coverage networks and benefits.
Learn about Medicare Advantage plans in your area
Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
1 CMS. Medicare Enrollment Dashboard. Retrieved Dec. 2020, from https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Dashboard/Medicare-Enrollment/Enrollment%20Dashboard.html.
2 Kaiser Family Foundation.. Retrieved Dec. 2020, from www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/marketplace-enrollment.
3 MedicareAdvantage.com’s The Average Cost of Medicare in 2022 report. .
4 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2020. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.
5 Kaiser Family Foundation. . Retrieved Dec. 2020 from https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/average-marketplace-premiums-by-metal-tier.
About the author
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Reason #: Retire Early If You Want To Stay Healthier Longer
Theres no doubt that working and being active can help you stay healthy much longer than sitting with your feet up. But not all work is good for you sometimes its detrimental to your health.
Retiring at 62 from a backbreaking job or one with a disproportionately high level of stress can help you retain, or regain, your good health and keep it longer.
Just be sure to have a plan for being mentally, socially and physically active. Jobs are good for keeping you engaged, but not the only way.
Chance To Change To Better Plans
Enrollment has reopened. President Joe Biden did this ahead of passage of the stimulus package, creating an open enrollment period through mid-May. The stimulus makes this special enrollment period more valuable.
Those already insured can now opt for a better plan, making use of the enhanced subsidies. Those who didnt enroll previously can sign up for insurance now, or starting April 1 under the changes.
Pollitz encourages everyone to take a look at their options. She said these changes could be especially important to people who didnt previously qualify for subsidies and found the Obamacare premiums to be too expensive.
For older people in particular, this elimination of the subsidy cliff is going to make a dramatic difference, Pollitz said. This is because the unsubsidized premiums are much higher for older individuals.
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How Much Do You Need To Retire At 62
The amount you need in order to retire depends on many factors that are specific and personal to each individual. To determine it, you need to go over your lifestyle goals, look at your health, estimate how much you’ll get from Social Security, and more. If you want to retire at 62, come up with your target amount for retiring at the full retirement age of 67, determine how much you’d need per year, and then add that amount for each year you want to bump up your retirement.
The Benefits Of Lowering The Age Of Eligibility For Medicare
From 10,000 feet up, the idea of lowering the age is good news for some. Ive had clients who were able to save large sums and could financially afford to retire but felt like they had to keep working until they could get guaranteed health coverage at age 65 through Medicare.
And then there are those who are forced into early retirement. If you lose your job and are over 55, finding a new job isnt always easy. So what do you do for healthcare at that point?
The plans you can buy on the healthcare exchange plans are very expensive for older Americans. This is where access to Medicare at 62 or even younger ages could help.
According to one study, a typical 60-year-old could buy into Medicare for about $8,000 less per year as compared to a gold-level plan on the insurance exchanges, and $3,700 less than buying a bronze-level plan.
A 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation poll also found most Americans support expanding Medicare coverage. 77% of respondents support the idea of introducing a Medicare buy-in for people as young as 50. This support seems bipartisan 85% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans polled approved of the idea.
At face value, it seems that lowering the eligibility age could be the perfect solution that provides the most options for individuals who are nearing retirement age.
But despite the broad idea of this proposal having public support, there are a few roadblocks that any of these proposals to lower the age will likely meet.
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Explore Health Care Sharing Programs
Health care Sharing Programs are a very new phenomenon. These programs are defined by a group of like-minded people banding together to help pay each others medical expenses.
The most well-known health care sharing programs are Christian-based and a belief in the Christian faith is required to participate.
Dr. Jim Dahle, the White Coat Investor, describes the programs like this: One option that one of my partners has used is to use one of the Christian health sharing ministry kind of options. This isnt really health insurance but its similar to it, in that you can use it to help decrease the burden of unexpected health care costs.
The real benefit is its dramatically cheaper. Now, it doesnt cover some things that health insurance covers. So, theres some risk there but his theory is, if you develop something thats terrible or some chronic condition, within a few months, youll be able to go on the exchange and buy an Affordable Care Act eligible policy and kind of hedge bets that way.
Here are some of the more popular Christian health care sharing programs:
AlieraCare may be more flexible and only require a statement of belief. You can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or non-denominational to participate.
If I Retire At 62 Can I Get Medicare
A number of federal bureaus evaluate and sanction family health insurance over 60 to 70 age protection and the businesses that provide such programs. You may consider contacting these organizations to detect whether the strategy you are planning to purchase is accredited.
Another option that you have is to inquire about how the top 10 company endures provision of good health care. Learn whether the strategy company look into the credentials of the doctor before they are added to the strategy scheme. Determine what measures the best insurance for age 62 to 65 organizations take to ensure that they give out the very best services.
Several magazines publish articles that provide ratings on AARP health insurance over 62 programs. Keep browsing through such magazines to discover how the different organizations and the best health insurance over 70 they proffer fare. Talk to some current holder of the health insurance before 60 plan and learn from their experiences with the company.
Do not settle for an ordinary, less than perfect strategy just because it is cost-effective. A number of options are available in the market, shop around and you are sure to look for a quality quotes of health insurance over age 60 program that has a low cost as well.
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Finding The Right Plan For You
Whenshopping for health insurance its important to consider your currenthealthcare needs and any needs you anticipate in the future. Its alsoimportant to consider your budget and what you can afford.
Need help figuring out what coverage is right for you? eHealth is here to help. eHeath is the first and largest online health insurance brokerage, so you can be sure that you will find the best plan for you and your needs with us.
Our online tools are here to not only help save you money but help you keep your doctors when making the switch. eHealths comparison tool allows you to easily compare a large range of health insurance options, so that you can find a plan that fits your budget and coverage needs.
Start shopping for individual and family health insurance now!
And when you turn 65 and are ready for Medicare, let eHealth help you with that transition as well.
If You Have Retiree Health Benefits
If you have retiree coverage and want to buy a Marketplace plan instead, you can. But:
You cant get premium tax credits and other savings based on your income. This is true only if youre actually enrolled in retiree coverage. If youre eligible for but not enrolled in retiree coverage, you may qualify for premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income.
If you voluntarily drop your retiree coverage, you wont qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a new Marketplace plan. You wont be able to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace until the next Open Enrollment period.
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Retirement Health Benefits Affect Early Retirement Behavior
The timing of retirement is known to be a function of both the health and the financial status of older workers. Given the importance of continued health insurance coverage in retirement for ensuring greater financial security, one would expect access to post-retirement health insurance to influence retirement behavior.
Short Term Health Insurance
Another option that you have is to buy short term health insurance.
Short term health insurance is an option that you have in most states. It is a cheaper alternative to buying your own individual or family health insurance policy that may help bridge the gap between retiring and enrolling in Medicare.
Short term health insurance is cheap but these plans offer significantly less comprehensive coverage when compared to a marketplace health insurance plan. Its also important to keep in mind that you can be denied or charged more for short term health insurance depending on your pre-existing conditions.
While this option offers less comprehensive coverage it may help you avoid steep health care bills in worst case scenario situations before youre eligible for Medicare.
eHealth is here to help you find short term health insurance available in your area. Our team of experienced agents can find the perfect plan for your situation, and can even help you make the transition from short term health insurance into Medicare once youre eligible!
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