Medicare coverage when not retired

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by Robert Smith

You’ve made your decision: although you’re eligible to collect Social Security payments, you’re going to keep working and delay receiving your retirement benefits.

But don’t forget about Medicare.

Even if you decide to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should apply for Medicare coverage at age 65. If you’d like to begin your Medicare coverage, you should apply within four months of reaching age 65.

There’s a fast, convenient, and simple way to apply online for Medicare in as little as 10 minutes—even if you’re not ready to receive retirement benefits. Just visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.

At the website, you’ll find more than just the online Medicare application. You’ll also find information about Medicare, and have the opportunity to watch a short, fun video reuniting the cast of “The Patty Duke Show” to tell you about the ease and convenience of filing for Medicare online.

It’s important to note that people who already receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits do not need to apply for Medicare; they will be automatically enrolled.

There is no additional charge for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) since you already paid for it by working and paying Medicare tax.

But there is a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B). If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider whether you want to apply for the medical insurance. You may want to consult with an insurance specialist. To learn more about this and other Medicare considerations, read our online publication, Medicare, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html.

(Robert Smith is Social Security manager in Pittsburgh.)

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