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Are you eligible for Medicare at the same time as Social Security?  In short NO.  You are eligible for Medicare at age 65.  One can begin receiving reduced Social Security retirement benefits at age 62.

There are so many options on how to take Medicare that it can be overwhelming. But if you are reading this, chances are you are already doing proper due diligence: “When am I eligible for Medicare” is definitely a good start – but most likely it is not the question that is keeping you up at night. What’s tougher to identify is if you are working should you take Medicare vs. the group plan, if you have an older or younger spouse–which of you should take it, or if you are eligible for ASRS or Tricare—should you take Medicare at all?

When there are too many choices, we tend to make bad decisions, or worse–do nothing at all. So make sure you are well-versed on the basics of Medicare.

Once again: When are you eligible for Medicare? Age 65 unless disability occurs prior to 65.

What is your first step once you turn 65?  Whether you continue working or not, you will “age in”  to Medicare with Medicare “Part A”. If you are not covered by an employer-sponsored health coverage, then you should decide whether to go with traditional Medicare (Medicare Part A-Hospital, Part B-Medical and Part D-Drugs) or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part C: HMO, PPO or PFFS).

You will need to familiarize yourself with the terminology. Medicare plans are labeled plans A-B-C-D. Medigap Plans (Medicare Supplemental policy to cover the co-insurances that Medicare does not pay) have 10 plans lettered A-N.

Deciding which version of Medicare you need will be the first step at familiarizing yourself with the terminology amidst a sea of options long before you become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

To add to the complexity, the different lettered plans vary from state to state, and so do the premiums. Focus your research on working with local Medicare advisors in your state.

Because of the variance between regions, finding a local source of Medicare counsel (via web content, subscribing to newsletters) will help lead you down the right path for when you are eligible for Medicare at age 65.

We specifically offer those turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time a complimentary Medicare class titled “Medicare Made Easy” every month. You can sign up at: www.MedicarePhoenix.com. We offer this educational seminar that we offer as a public service which is limited to the first 12 people.