Key Health Care Options Between Early Retirement And Medicare
“With more and more employers dropping their pre-65 retiree medical plans,* the questions of where and how to get the right coverage did not disappear with the Affordable Care Act and may still create indecision and uncertainty in someone who is otherwise ready to retire,” says Greg Gagliano, senior vice president of product management at Fidelity.
If you are retiring before age 65 and you don’t have access to retiree health care coverage from your employer, there are 4 main ways to obtain health care coverage to bridge the period between retirement and Medicare:
Spousal Benefits Can Enable Insurance For An Early Retirement
An option that you may have if you are married is to use your spouses health insurance plan, Purkat explains.
I see in many cases, one spouse may be retiring early, but the other is still working full-time, Says Purkat. This is a great situation because if you can cover the years before you turn 62 with your spouses insurance, it can save you a lot of money.
Weigh In: What Do You Think Of Proposals To Lower Medicares Age Requirement To 62 Or Less
So now Id like to hear from you. Do you think lowering the initial age of Medicare eligibility is a good idea? Would you be more apt to support Medicare at 62 so it would line up with Social Securitys eligibility age? Id like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Dont leave without downloading my Social Security cheat sheet. Its completely free and packed with information that Ive distilled from thousands of government website pages.
Also, if you havent already, you should join the other 330,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. If youre subscribed with notifications turned on, youll know as soon as I release a new video. See you there!
Recommended Reading: How Much Can I Make On Medicare
Reason #: Retire Early If You Are Ready To Focus On A Financial Goal
Maybe you arent quite financially ready to retire early. Should this hold you back? Absolutely not. Especially if you are ready to focus on a financial goal.
Most Americans are unprepared for retirement and may need to continue working during their 60s and beyond. However, dont let past mistakes of lack of planning and saving hold you back now!
Set a goal to retire early, start analyzing your finances and design a plan to get out of the workforce as soon as you can. The sooner you make an effort to retire early, the sooner you will be able to do it.
The NewRetirement Planner makes it easy to get started. Try different scenarios and find your path to retirement as early as possible.
Medicare Eligibility For Medicare Advantage Before 65
After youre enrolled in Original Medicare, you may choose to remain with Original Medicare or consider enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by a private, Medicare-approved insurance company.
Medicare eligibility for Medicare Part C works a little differently. Youre eligible for Medicare Advantage plans if you have Part A and Part B and live in the service area of a Medicare Advantage plan. If you have End Stage Renal Disease , you usually cant enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, but there may be some exceptions, such as a Medicare Advantage plan offered by the same insurance company as your employer-based health plan, or a Medicare Special Needs Plan .
When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, youre still in the Medicare program and need to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium and any premium the plan charges. The Medicare Advantage program offers an alternative way of receiving Original Medicare coverage but may offer additional benefits. For example, Original Medicare doesnt include prescription drug coverage or routine dental/vision care, but a Medicare Advantage plan may include these benefits and more. Benefits, availability and plan costs vary among plans.
New To Medicare?
Becoming eligible for Medicare can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you understand Medicare in 15 minutes or less.
Don’t Miss: Does Medicare Cover Bed Rails
What Is The Medicare Eligible Age
You may decide to retire at 62 because you can start collecting Social Security at that age and you feel ready to move on to a new stage in life. According to the Social Security Administration, you may start receiving retirement benefits as early as age 62. Your employer health benefits will likely end when you retire and you may wonder about your Medicare eligibility age.
Medicare is the government health care program for people age 65 and older and people younger than 65 with certain disabilities. Your Medicare eligible age is not correlated to when you retire and retiring early will not make you eligible for Medicare. Generally the only ways to be eligible for Medicare before age 65 is to:
- Have end-stage renal disease
- Have ALS
- Have a disability and have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months
If you retire at 62 and do not have a disability, you will generally have to wait three years for Medicare coverage. You can look on eHealth for an affordable individual or family health insurance plan as you wait to reach your Medicare eligible age.
There are certain advantages to waiting to retire beyond age 62 besides reaching the Medicare eligible age. If you retire early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. The amount your benefit will be reduced depends on your year of birth.
Health Care Options Between Early Retirement And Medicare
If you plan to retire early, youll need to figure out a plan to pay for health care before you reach Medicare eligibility age. There are a few different options.
If your spouse is still in the workforce, you might be eligible to be covered under their employers health plan if it includes spouses.
You also could opt for COBRA coverage, which allows you to essentially continue using your former employers coverage in some circumstances for a limited amount of time. This option can be expensive since you will have to pay the full premium.
This arrangement may not be sustainable depending on how early you retire since COBRA coverage typically only lasts for 18 to 36 months.
Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Eligibility varies by state, but this is typically an option if you have very little money or income. You also could opt to purchase a private insurance plan.
Read Also: How Old To Be Covered By Medicare
I Am Turning 65 And Will Apply For Medicare Part A And Part B And A Medical Plan My 59
To get premium-free Part A, hospital insurance, an individual must have worked and paid taxes for 10 years or have a spouse who did. This 59-year old spouse will have to wait until age 65 to enroll in Medicare.
Upon further discussion, this man knew his wife would not be eligible for Medicare until then he just wants to put her on his Medicare medical plan, as she was with his employers plan before he retired. But that wont work.
A medical plan to go with Part A and Part B is generally either Medicare supplement insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan. This additional coverage helps to cover Medicares out-of-pocket costs. And that coverage is a one-person plan. Medicare does not cover dependents.
Remember: Unless you have serious medical issues that qualify you for early enrollment, you will have to wait until age 65 and your Initial Enrollment Period to begin the Medicare process. Then, the coverage you choose will be just for you.
Three Approaches To Reform
The NASI study bit.ly/2K4Aya7 offers a fascinating in-depth look at three approaches to expanding Medicare eligibility: lowering the eligibility age, establishing Medicare for All, and creating a Medicare buy-in. The report was created by a study panel made up of 27 experts from a broad range of perspectives, such as economics, health policy, political science, sociology, medicine and law.
The report draws some surprising conclusions about the practicality of actually executing these approaches. Yes, Medicare for All might be the toughest putt from a political standpoint – but the optional buy-in – which sounded great rolling off the tongues of moderate candidates like Pete Buttigieg – actually is the most difficult to execute.
A lot of people think that Medicare for All sounds nice, but that it is aspirational and very difficult, if not impossible to do in practice, said Moon. And the buy-in just sounds like its not a big change. But we quickly realized that the buy-in was very complicated, because you take a complicated program like Medicare, which has a lot of moving parts, and then the even more complex Affordable Care Act structure and you try to marry the two in some way. Its very difficult to do.
You May Like: Do You Have Dental With Medicare
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.
Collecting Social Security Medicare And More
Are you hoping to retire at 62? If so, you’re not alone. Age 63 is the average time of retirement in the U.S. But before you quit your job, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re ready. Get your finances in order before you retire to make sure you’re in the best place to enjoy your freedom.
You May Like: Are Medicare Advantage Plans Hmos
Exceptions To Medicare Age Requirements
While you are typically not eligible for Medicare unless you are 65 and a U.S. citizen, there are some other ways that you can qualify.
If you have been receiving Social Security disability insurance for two years or more, you can be eligible for Medicare early.
You can also enroll if you have ALS or end-stage renal disease. In these circumstances, you are exempt from the requirement to have been on disability insurance for two years.
If you meet none of these requirements, you will have to wait until your standard eligibility period. According to AARP, your initial enrollment period will begin three months before the month of your 65th birthday.
Original Medicare is split into two parts, Part A and Part B. Unless you meet the above requirements, neither part is available to you early.
There is a third part, Part C, which is also known as Medicare Advantage. Private insurers provide Part C plans which offer expanded benefits and coverage like vision and dental.
Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment
Reason #: Retire Early If Youre Debt Free
Probably the biggest indicator that its really ok to retire early is that your debts are paid off, or theyre very close to it. Debt-free living, financial freedom, or whichever way you choose to refer it, means youve fulfilled all or most of your obligations, and youll be under much less strain in the years ahead.
If youre debt free and your retirement income is in line, theres little reason to continue working if you dont want to. This is the time of life that youve worked hard to reach. So go out there and enjoy it.
NewRetirements Planner is an easy way to help you decide whether you can retire early. It only takes a few minutes, and what youll learn can help you chart your new course.
Also Check: How Much Is Medicare Copay For A Doctor’s Visit
Do I Automatically Get Medicare When I Turn 65
Some people automatically get Medicare at age 65, but those numbers have declined as the Medicare and Social Security ages have continued to drift apart.
Most people who automatically get Medicare at age 65 do so because they have been receiving Social Security benefits for at least four months before turning 65. Traditionally, Medicare premiums are deducted from your Social Security check. For the longest time, you could retire with full Social Security benefits at 65 and start on Medicare at the same time.
You are still automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if youre drawing Social Security, but not as many people draw Social Security that early these days because of changes to the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits.
In 2000, the Social Security Amendments of 1983 began pushing back the standard age for full Social Security benefits. The progressive changes are nearing their conclusion: Beginning in 2022, the standard age for full benefits will be 67 for anyone born after 1960.
Besides the Medicare eligibility age of 65, what remains unchanged is that you can opt to begin drawing partial Social Security benefits as early as age 62. So, if you opt for accepting partial Social Security benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare.
A smaller group of people also automatically get Medicare at age 65: people who receive Railroad Board benefits for at least four months before 65.
Full Retirement Age By Year
Full retirement age is the age you begin to receive full Social Security benefits. If you start to draw your Social Security benefits before reaching your full retirement age, the payment you receive will be less.
An easy way to think about full benefits and retirement age is this,
- Social Security will reduce your payments if you choose to receive your benefit before full retirement age. The percentage of reduced amount is highest at age 62 and decreases until you reach full retirement age.
- If you choose to receive Social Security payments when you reach full retirement, you will get the total amount.
- Suppose you choose not to receive Social Security payments when you reach full retirement and delay your benefit. In that case, you can increase the amount of your payment by earning delayed retirement credits.
If youre not sure when you reach full retirement age, our table provides the years and months you need to know for full retirement.
|The Year You Were Born||Age You Reach Full Retirement|
|Full Retirement Age 1954|
If youre looking for the governments Medicare site, please navigate to www.medicare.gov.
Don’t Miss: What Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Hearing Aids
Can A 62 Year Old Get Medicaid
Yes. Medicaid qualification is based on income, not age. While Medicaid eligibility differs from one state to another, it is typically available to people of lower incomes and resources including pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly and children.
Learn more about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
Do I Need To Be On Social Security To Get Medicare Coverage
Many seniors sign up for Social Security prior to securing Medicare coverage but doing so is by no means a requirement.
Q: Do I need to be on Social Security to get Medicare coverage?
A: Millions of seniors rely on Medicare for health benefits in retirement, and depend on Social Security as a key income source. But while the two programs are interrelated, participation in one doesnt necessarily hinge on being signed up for the other.
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Drug Rehab
When Did Medicare Age Change
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed into the law the first major change to Medicare. The legislation expanded coverage to include individuals under the age of 65 with long-term disabilities and individuals with end-stage renal disease .
Is Medicare eligibility age changing?
More than 125 House lawmakers introduced legislation Friday that lowers the Medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65. The Improving Medicare Coverage Act led by Reps.
Has Medicare age been raised to 67? Republicans pushed for a House budget committee recommendation in 2018 that called for raising the age of eligibility to 67 as part of entitlement revision and for Medicare budget savings. The eligibility age has been set at 65 since the 1960s.
Did Medicare ever start at age 62?
According to the Social Security Administration, you may start receiving retirement benefits as early as age 62. Medicare is the government health care program for people age 65 and older and people younger than 65 with certain disabilities.