When doing your retirement planning you will want to note that Medicare and Social Security are not always taken at the same time. Full retirement age is increasing slowly year by year, disconnecting the correlation of the dates between Medicare Social Security. Medicare and full retirement age both used to be 65, but no more.
Some examples of this mismatch:
1. A S.S. recipient applies early at age 62 for S.S. and doesn’t qualify until 65 for Medicare.
2. The S.S. applicant delays benefits until age 70 (Medicare starts at age 65).
3. The applicant keeps on working and remains covered by their employer’s group plan that covers 20 or more employees (Medicare would start whenever the employer coverage stopped and the applicant began taking S.S.
With the above factors, as well as some not listed, we feel it is an important part of the retirement process to provide clients with some key information allowing them to make educated and timely decisions.
Some highlights would include:
Medicare is not automatic - assuming you will be enrolled at 65 without applying can be a big mistake.
Medicare is not free – there are premiums with Medicare, and it doesn’t cover everything.
Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) can be used – this needs to be analyzed and evaluated on a case by case basis.
Taking the time to do your research before reaching 65 can save time, money and general frustration for those soon to retire.