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Can I sign up for Medicare and not Social Security?
Just the essentials...
You can sign up for Medicare and not Social Security benefits if you are three months from your 65th birthday or older
People who aren’t ready to stop working can sign up for Medicare and delay applying for Social Security, but the number of benefits they receive down the line may be reduced
If you apply for Medicare without Social Security, you will have to pay Medicare Part B premiums out-of-pocket
The Social Security Administration indicates that you can sign up for Medicare and not Social Security if you are three months from your 65th birthday or older.
Many people in the U.S. choose this option because they are not ready to fully stop working. However, waiting until later to apply for Social Security benefits can impact the amount of monthly social security income you will receive. Additionally, Medicare Part B requires you to pay a monthly premium.
Individuals who are semi-retired or fully retired and receive some or all of their Social Security benefits will pay their Medicare Part B monthly premium through a monthly deduction from their Social Security benefits.
Keep in mind that if you do apply for Medicare and not social security, you must pay your Part B premium out-of-pocket. According to Medicare.gov, the standard premium amount in 2020 is $144.60.
Here are some important highlights regarding premiums and deductibles if you plan on signing up for Medicare and not social security:
Your premium for Part B may be different than $144.60 if you receive Medicare and not social security.
In 2020, your Part B premium may be different if you are enrolling for the first time.
In 2020, your deductible for Part B is $198 per year. Once the deductible is met, you are responsible for 20 percent of Medicare-approved costs for outpatient therapy, doctor services and medical equipment.
As of 2020, income levels greater than $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples filing joint tax returns will pay more than the standard $144.60 Part B deductible.
Medicare Parts A and B
Original Medicare Part A covers any hospital care you may need, including emergency services, skilled nursing facility care, in-home care, home health services, and hospice.
Part A does not require a monthly premium, and if you are concerned what health services Medicare Part A covers, Medicare.gov recommends that you ask your doctor why you need specific health services during your hospital stay and if Medicare covers the cost of those services.
Original Medicare Part B covers the cost of doctor’s services that include preventive care, outpatient services, lab tests and x-rays, and mental health care. You must pay a monthly premium for Part B, and it only covers about 80 percent of your health-related costs.
Some Basics of Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans
Supplemental plans fill the gap in medical expenses that Medicare does not cover. For example, if you need continuous care for a medical condition, Medicare Part B only covers about 80 percent of those costs, and you are on the hook for the other 20 percent.
Using a supplemental plan, you can significantly reduce all the costs that add up from continuous care, including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance. Also known as Medigap, private insurance companies offer supplemental plans and are part of the Medicare network.
If you cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses you incur from Part B, then a supplemental policy may help you curb those costs.
You must pay a monthly premium for a supplemental plan, so it is imperative that you comparison shop when you are searching for a plan.
Just like traditional health care, you should never decide on the first insurance company that you see.
There are several Medicare-approved private insurance companies that offer quality supplemental plans.
The cost of your monthly premium and what a supplemental plan will cover are at stake if you do not thoroughly comparison shop private insurance companies offering supplemental plans.
Medicare and Social Security
If you apply for Medicare only and wish to delay your Social Security benefits, there is no penalty in terms of how much coverage you will receive from Medicare. However, if you receive Medicare and continue to work, it may affect the lifetime benefits that the SSA can pay you each month based on your record.