No, you do not need to be on Social Security to enroll in Medicare. However, deciding how you want to do things is an important step towards a secure future.
How Does Social Security Enrollment Work?
You can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, the earlier you start collecting, the lower your monthly benefits. And, the older you enroll, i.e., past age 67, the higher your monthly benefits will be.
However, your benefits are yours to receive whenever you like starting at age 62. A typical age to enroll often is age 65, as it lines up with Medicare enrollment.
How Does Medicare Enrollment Work?
You’re eligible for Medicare starting three months before your 65th birthday. You can also enroll earlier if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but we’ll focus on senior enrollment.
Social Security enrollment is more flexible than Medicare enrollment. It’s best to sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which takes place three months before, the month of, and three months after your 65th birthday (7 months total).
If you miss your IEP, you can sign up during general enrollment from January 1 through March 31 every year. But, waiting to enroll outside of your IEP will permanently raise your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums by as much as 10%.
You won’t face these late enrollment fees if you’re still covered by an employer group health insurance plan when you first become eligible. You can still enroll in Medicare if you choose, but it’s not required until your group health insurance coverage ends.
When To Sign Up
You are not required to sign up for both Medicare and Social Security at the same time, and you don’t have to have one to get the other.
The question is, then, when do you enroll in each? Social Security enrollment is more flexible, while it’s best to enroll in Medicare during your 7-month IEP.
You can wait to enroll in Social Security to earn the higher benefits. Or, if you want the money ASAP for personal things like travel, debt payment, etc., you can enroll earlier.
The only way your Medicare could be affected by enrolling in Social Security later on is how you pay for Medicare. With Social Security, you can choose to have your monthly premium payments come out of your Social Security benefits before it reaches you. So, you would just need to be prepared to make that payment yourself until you eventually enroll.
Navigate Your Medicare Decisions with Rothrock Insurance Solutions
Whatever you decide for your Medicare journey, we’re here to help. Call Rothrock Insurance Solutions at 888-828-4060.