If you are eligible for Social Security Benefit payments at age 65 you will automatically receive a Medicare card in the mail. You don’t have to apply. Medicare enrollment has never been easier.
What does being eligible for Social Security benefits mean? It means that you must have acquired 40 credits through either you or your spouse’s work under a Medicare covered employment. With this requirement in mind, it is not difficult to qualify for Medicare enrollment.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) work in collaboration to determine eligibility along with information communicated via the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Age 62 represents the first point of eligibility to qualify for Social Security benefits if you have payed into Social Security and accumulated 40 credits.
Paychecks in past years only showed FICA deductions. In more recent years, clarity has been achieved by representing Medicare and Social Security separately; 1.45% deduction for Medicare and 6.20% for Social Security, making it much easier for employees to understand.
However, if you are not eligible for Social Security, you will not automatically receive a Medicare card in the mail, you will have to apply for Medicare. This is important to those Federal employees and retirees who are not eligible for Social Security for one reason or the other but still wish to pursue Medicare enrollment. Three months prior to your 65th birthday, you should file your application for benefits during the 7 month initial enrollment period.
If you are unclear about the deductions on your paycheck or the specifics of Medicare enrollment, go to your Human Resources Office immediately for clarity. Checking on what deductions are being withheld from your check is imperative. It should be a part of your annual financial checkup. Having a thorough understanding of payroll deductions is a clear path to retiring well.
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