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What to know about both Medicare and Social Security benefits?

When covering the bases, you want to learn about your options for Medicare and Social Security.

How old do you have to be or at what age is a person eligible for Medicare?

This is a good question since Social Security says full retirement is at age 66. Does this mean Medicare benefits begin when your reach the age 66?

This question is asked by many people because the Social Security “retirement age will vary”. Some people will choose to opt in at age 62. They receive a smaller amount than if they had waited until the reached the “full retirement age.”

Full retirement will vary depending on which year you were born.

Medicare eligibility will begin at age 65; this is based on age. Anyone getting close to age 65 should be advised to learn about the different Medicare options available. Not everyone has to enroll in Medicare at age 65. Those who have current employment that carries insurance through their employer can opt to postpone their Medicare enrollment.

To start learning about your Medicare options, use the booklet called, “Medicare and You,” which can be found at www.medicare.gov and will very helpful for learning what’s available. Another option is to contact your local State Health insurance Assistance Program (410.222.4257) to learn about the timing receiving your Medicare.

Some people younger than age 65 are eligible for Medicare if they have (chronic kidney failure) end stage renal disease. If you are considered disabled under the Social Security disability rules, then you will qualify at a younger age. If you fit either of these categories, then you can contact Medicare (1.800.medicare) medicare.gov / or contact the local SHIP office for additional help and guidance.

I’m turning 65 and will start my Medicare, but I am going to postpone when payments for Social Security begin which won’t start until I turn 66 years of age. If there is no Social Security check to deduct my Medicare payment from; how do I pay my monthly Medicare premiums?

You pay your premiums directly to the “Medicare Premium Collection Center,” which is the default method of payment. Billing is done quarterly and my be paid by check (paper, electronically, or by credit card).

Once the first bill is received from the Medicare Premium Collection Center; instructions for an additional option to use the Medicare Easy Pay option is available. Opting for the Medicare Easy Pay allows you to have your monthly Medicare premiums automatically deducted electronically from a checking or savings accounts each month.

You can visit the www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html and get additional information about Social Security full retirement age.