Retirement is on the minds of most everybody from the day they start working, and some people have the desire to retire early so that they can spend more time with family, participate in their hobbies more often, travel more, or just relax and enjoy their time off after a long career. If you are looking to retire early and will be under the age of 65, you may be wondering what your Medicare benefits will entail. This is an important thing to be aware of as your health insurance from your job may come to an end upon retirement, leaving you in need of another option.
What do Medicare Benefits Include?
Medicare is available to everyone over the age of 65 no matter what pre-existing medical conditions you have. Original Medicare includes Part A and a Part B plan. Medicare Part A is responsible for covering hospital expenses. These can include inpatient hospital stays, overnight stays after a medical procedure when you are formally admitted, inpatient testing and care, hospice care for those at end of life, and skilled nursing facility stays.
Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient expenses and preventive medical care. This may include ambulance services, x-ray or MRI testing for diagnostic purposes, sleep studies, annual checkups and doctor visits, and more. You are not required to select Part B care as part of your Medicare plan upon enrollment, but if you decline this service initially and decide you want it later, your coverage may be delayed and you will be forced to pay a higher premium payment.
Both of these plans become available to a person as soon as they turn 65. However, individuals may be entitled to these benefits early if they have end-stage renal disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or a disability and have been receiving social security disability benefits for at least two years.
In addition to Part A and Part B, you may also choose to select a Part C or Part D plan. Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs and may be a good option if you use many different prescriptions daily or may do so in the future. Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage, and these plans offered by private insurance companies provide your Part A and Part B benefits, as well as additional coverage for many other services as well, including dental, vision, hearing, and others. Medicare Advantage plans will generally encompass all the benefits of Part A, B, and D.
Can Medicare Recipients be Under the Age of 65?
While you are able to begin receiving early Social Security benefits at the age of 62, unless you have a disability or one of the chronic health conditions listed above, you will not be able to qualify for Medicare before the age of 65. For example, if you are only 62 at the time of retirement, you will have to have wait until three months before you turn 65 for the Medicare enrollment period to open up.
In addition, you should be aware that Part A premium payment prices for Medicare recipients are determined by how long you have worked while paying Medicare taxes. If you have worked and paid this tax for more than 10 years, your Part A premium will be waived. But, if you have worked less than 10 years, you will need to pay a Part A premium in addition to your Part B, C, and D costs.
However, you may still qualify for a free Part A premium if your spouse has worked for more than 10 years and is 62 years of age. As soon as your spouse turns 62, you will then be eligible for a free Part A premium as long as you are 65 and your spouse has worked 10 years while paying Medicare taxes. However, if your spouse is only 62, they will not yet qualify for Medicare and will have to wait an additional three years to be eligible.