In our October 2021 newsletter, we covered the Medicare basics. In this newsletter, we dig a little deeper.
What are the different “parts” of Medicare? Medicare has four different programs or “parts.” Parts A and B are the core of the Medicare program. Part A is called hospital insurance and Part B is known as medical insurance. Part C consists of Medicare Advantage plans and Part D is drug and prescription coverage.
Do I need to be collecting Social Security to get Medicare? No. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be signed up at age 65 to receive Medicare (Part A and Part B). If you are not receiving Social Security benefits by age 65, it is your responsibility to enroll in Medicare. Your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday (including the month you turn 65) and ends three months after that birthday.
Can I enroll in Medicare early? Unfortunately, no. Even if you begin collecting Social Security at age 62, you must wait until you are age 65 to begin Medicare. The exception is for younger people with certain disabilities or diseases.
Can you qualify for Medicare from a spouse? Yes. Just as you may be eligible to collect Social Security spousal benefits based on your spouse’s earnings record, you can also qualify for Medicare from your spouse too. However, even if your spouse is 65 or older, you must wait until you are 65 to enroll in Medicare.
Just like Social Security, Medicare can be complicated. Learn more about Medicare here.