Age and employment situation can impact Social Security eligibility. Your Social Security status will affect the way you sign up for Medicare.
Can I File for Medicare Without Social Security
You don’t have to be on Social Security to qualify for Medicare. Many people get Medicare coverage as soon as you turn 65, even if you are still working. You can also get Medicare benefits if you don’t qualify for Social Security.
Here’s how it all works.
Eligibility for Full Social Security Benefits
Some people collect Social Security at age 62; however, monthly benefit checks will be bigger if you wait until your full retirement age. The full retirement age was 65; the same age you become eligible for Medicare but the government has been gradually raising it.
Those born between 1943 and 1954 reach full retirement and maximum Social Security benefit at age 66.
Full retirement age goes up two months every year after that until age 67 for people born in 1960 or later.
The full retirement age has been increasing, the Medicare age is the same. You’re still eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. If you need to sign up for Medicare, you’ll need to call Social Security.
Medicare When You Turn 65 and are Still Working
Those with coverage from a spouse’s employer insurance; your next step depends on the insurance and the size of the employer.
When an employer has more than 20 employees, you can keep your employer coverage and delay signing up for Medicare.
Enrolling in both Medicare and the employer plan, the employer plan will be your primary coverage and Medicare will be secondary, paying claims only after the employer plan has paid.
If your employer has 20 or fewer employees, you should sign up for Medicare even if you plan to also keep your employer coverage.
This is because Medicare is the primary coverage for people who are 65 or older and working for small companies. Medicare will pay first, and the employer coverage will pay second.
Most employer coverage includes prescriptions, so the employer plan could eliminate the need for a separate Medicare prescription plan.
Before you decide whether to keep your employer coverage, be sure to compare the costs and benefits of that coverage vs Medicare.
Medicare if You Don’t Qualify for Social Security
To get Social Security benefits, you (or your spouse if you are claiming survivor benefits) must have worked and paid into the system, earning enough “work credits” to qualify.
There are two major reasons you may not qualify for Social Security:
- You didn’t put in enough years of working and paying Social Security taxes on your income
- You were a government employee who paid into a pension plan instead of Social Security
The good news is that you do NOT have to qualify for Social Security to receive Medicare benefits.
You just need to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Because your Medicare premiums cannot be taken out of your Social Security check, you will pay your monthly premiums for Part B to Medicare directly.
You may also have to pay a Medicare Part A premium.
When to Sign Up for Medicare
If you are receiving Social Security when you turn 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Otherwise, you need to sign up during your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) or you risk owing to a penalty.
Your IEP starts three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. For example, if you will turn 65 on June 12th, enrollment begins on March 1st and ends on September 30th.
If you don’t sign up during IEP, you may pay a penalty when you sign up. This penalty is added to your Medicare Part B premium each month for the rest of your life.
You may avoid the penalty if you have employer coverage that is primary to your Medicare coverage. Understanding the relationship between Medicare and Social Security can be tricky.
Getting Medicare Without Social Security
At MedicareFAQ, we’re here to answer all your questions about Medicare enrollment—whether you’re getting Social Security or not.
Our agents are experts in the Medicare industry, ready to walk you through the process of healthcare.
Discover the best coverage for you by calling us at the phone number above or filling out an online rate form. Don’t delay coverage; get coverage before you need it and protect your assets.