January 21, 2019 - Douglas Myser

Benefits of medicare and social security. Are they better taken at different times ? Millions of seniors depend on Social Security to pay the bills in retirement. Similarly, millions look to Medicare to cover their health related needs. And while the two programs are interrelated, eligibility for them kicks in at different times. Benefits of medicare and social security.

Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, and you can enroll in the program up to three months before the month of your 65th birthday. Social Security eligibility, meanwhile, starts at age 62, though that's not necessarily the best time to sign up for benefits. Seniors actually get an eight year window to file for Social Security that begins at 62 and closes at 70. (When we say closes at 70, it means there's no financial incentive to file past then, though you can technically file as late as you want.) Right in the middle of that window is full retirement age, otherwise known as the age at which you get to collect your monthly benefits in full.

Full retirement age is either 66, 67, or 66 and a number of months, depending on your year of birth, and seniors are often advised to wait on Social Security until that point or beyond. That's because filing for benefits beforehand can decrease your benefits.

The upside of being on Medicare and Social Security concurrently. As is the case with health insurance premiums in general, Medicare Part B premiums have a tendency to increase from year to year. But thanks to Medicare's hold-harmless provision, enrollees who are also collecting Social Security and have their Part B premiums deducted directly from their monthly benefits are protected against major increases in those premiums. In a nutshell, Medicare Part B premiums can't rise at a faster pace than Social Security's cost of living adjustments.

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