Medicare FAQs: Do I Have to Retire to Enroll in Medicare?

Do I Have to Retire to Enroll in Medicare?

The short answer: No.

You can enroll once you meet the age requirement for Medicare at age 65. In fact, your Medicare enrollment window begins three months before you turn 65.

However, some individuals may qualify for benefits without meeting the age requirement for Medicare. For example, an End-Stage Renal Disease diagnosis may qualify you for Medicare at any age.

What if I Plan on Working Past Age 65?

Working past age 65 is a common occurrence among Baby Boomers. Luckily, your working status has no impact on your Medicare eligibility once you turn 65.

You can continue to work and enjoy the benefits of Medicare. Medicare may even be more cost-effective than your employer coverage. Plus, you can use the health savings account (HSA) funds you saved to pay for your health care costs even after you switch to Medicare.

If you work for a company with 20 or fewer employees, you’ll be required to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) once you become eligible. This is true regardless of your retirement plans. Thus, you would have Medicare Part A and Part B coverage along with your employer coverage. In this situation, it is typically more cost-effective for you to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan vs. staying on your group coverage with Original Medicare.

But What About My Spouse?

Medicare plans do not allow dependents like employer plans do. This means if your spouse is currently covered by your employer benefits, he or she will have to make arrangements to secure health coverage when you transition to Medicare.

If Your Spouse Is 65 or Older

If both you and your spouse meet the age requirement for Medicare, switching to Medicare together is often your most practical option. Depending on your individual health care needs, you can each choose a plan that works for you. Our advisors make it easy to compare options.

If Your Spouse Is Younger Than 65

He or she has two options for getting covered when you transition to Medicare. They can:

Our advisors are here to assist your spouse in finding an individual health insurance policy, which can bridge the gap until he or she meets the age requirement for Medicare.

Health Plan Advice for Working Past Age 65

Meeting the age requirement for Medicare is just the beginning. Whether you’re wondering, “Do I have to retire to enroll in Medicare?” or want to ask other Medicare questions, our regional Medicare advisors are here to give you answers.

Call our team of experts in Medicare at 1-866-407-5180 or email your questions to [email protected].

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