Medicare: what age does it start?

by Steve

I'll be 62 this month and I'm going to start collecting Social Security. When can I collect Medicare, at 65 or 66? I've heard both.

Wendy: Medicare starts at 65.

Social Security payments for "full pay" has been increasing by birth year, and 66 is nearer to the full payment. It used to be 65... so now many get confused with the many ages out there.

On Medicare, if you are still working, you don't have to take it (though it can be a second coverage).

However, if you choose to say "No thank you" to Medicare (so you don't have the large Medicare deduction taken from your Social Security check)... and you are no longer working (and your spouse isn't either) -- they will increase your premium by 10% for every year you wait. Yikes!

If you waited three years, for example, and realized you made a mistake, they'd increase your premium by 15% for the rest of your life!

Good timing -- just a reminder to those who consider saying "no thanks!"... you might save a few dollars, but later it might hurt!

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