Your Retirement Age Matters for Medicare. We’ll Help You Understand How.
The age at which you choose to retire depends on many factors, both personal and professional. Whether it is finances, health or your career goals and accomplishments that impact your retirement decisions, every person is going to reach the decision differently.
While everyone may not retire at exactly the same age, Medicare recognizes 65 as the ‘retirement age’ as that is when you become eligible for Medicare enrollment. Whether you retire before or after 65 does, in fact, impact Medicare enrollment.
Retiring Before 65: Carefully Consider Coverage Options
If you opt to retire before 65, Medicare will generally not be available to you until the three months before you do turn 65. Certain exceptions exist, including disabilities that have qualified you for SSDI payments in the past. Before retiring prior to the Medicare eligibility age, it is important to consider your existing healthcare coverage and how retirement may affect it.
Retiring at 65: Start Researching Your Options Early
You should receive your Medicare enrollment information as early as several months before your 65th birthday. If you are planning to retire at 65 you should become familiar with the various plans available to you well before you turn 65. There are many different options, and they may or may not complement any coverage you will retain from your employer after retirement in a way that fits your needs. Knowing what your healthcare coverage options are from both Medicare and your employer may impact your decision to retire at 65 or to wait.
Retiring After 65: A Common Occurrence
Medicare starts at 65, but Social Security doesn’t fully kick in until you turn 66. This gap often means that people will choose to work until they are at least 66. As long as you have credible coverage through your employer you will not face penalties from Medicare if you decline to enroll. However, be aware of enrollment deadlines and any penalties that exist if you are waiting to enroll.
Employer Coverage After Retirement
In general, if you retain employer coverage after retirement it will be the second payor, with Medicare as the first. However, as outlined on Medicare.gov, there are four important things to research about employer coverage after retirement. First, is it available? Second, what is the cost and coverage? Third, what happens to your retirement coverage if you are eligible for Medicare but not enrolled? And, fourth, how does your retirement plan work with Medicare? These are all important questions and may have complex answers. While your employer’s insurance policy booklet may provide some information, it can quickly get overwhelming.
There is a lot to consider and to research as you move toward retirement. We at Southern Maine Retirement Services are here to help you make the best decisions about Medicare coverage for you and your family. Contact us today to discuss your retirement plans and Medicare needs.