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Turning 65 and NOT Working

If you retire or are unemployed before you turn 65, there are some things you need to know about your eligibility to join Medicare.

You cannot get Medicare until you turn 65, unless you cannot work because of an illness or medical condition and have received Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) for two years, or you have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease or End Stage Renal Disease.

If you need health insurance before age 65, you should explore buying coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The Marketplaces can also help determine if you are eligible for subsidies and/or Medicaid.

If you are already getting Social Security benefits, like early retiree or disability benefits, when you turn 65:

  • You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You do not need to do anything. Your Medicare card and “Welcome to Medicare” kit will come in the mail usually the month before your 65th birthday. Just sign the front of it. Then start using it.

If you are not yet getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65:

  • You must apply for Medicare. Learn how to enroll. It is wise for you to enroll on time (that is, during your Initial Enrollment Period). If you wait to sign up, you may have to pay penalties in the form of higher monthly premiums when you do join.

Either way, once you enroll in Medicare Part A and B, you should also review the other options in Medicare, such as Part D prescription drug coverage. You can also choose to enroll in a private Medicare Advantage plan at this time.

You will also want to:

  • Find out how to get coverage to supplement or wrap around Medicare. Get personal help with reviewing your options.

Aon Hewitt Navigators® is a Medicare insurance brokerage service recommended by NCOA because it meets rigorous Standards of Excellence established by NCOA. You may be eligible for personal one-on-one assistance in selecting and enrolling in health coverage. All of the services are provided at no cost to consumers. Check to see if you are eligible.

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