Original Medicare is a federal program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services run the federal health program. CMS is one branch of Health and Human Services.
Most people are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Those under 65 can qualify for Medicare when they collect Social Security Disability for at least 24 months.
The cost of Medicare depends on many things. Those with a low income will likely pay less than the standard amount and may qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. Those with a higher income will likely pay more for Part B; this is called the Part B Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount.
Now, Part A of Medicare is free for those that meet the requirements. But, Part B has a premium that usually comes out of your Social Security check. The premium for Part B is $170.10 a month. Yet, those are just the premium costs; some deductibles and coinsurances apply when you only have Medicare.
If you work for a large employer and have employer coverage, you may choose to delay enrollment. When you delay enrollment because you’re delaying retirement, you won’t need to rush to sign up for Part B. Although; you may choose to enroll in Part A, especially since, in many cases, it’s free.
Now, if you choose to enroll in Part A, you can no longer contribute to a Health Savings Account. When you retire, you can sign up for Part B and Part A if you chose not to collect before retirement.
For the most part, people sign up for Medicare at age 65. But, some may choose to delay enrollment due to delaying retirement. In contrast, others may enroll before age 65 if they’re on Social Security Disability for at least 24 months.
You should sign up for Medicare at age 65 if you’re working for a small employer (less than 20 employees). But, if you work for a larger employer, you could delay enrollment.
Of course, Medicare isn’t mandatory, so you can choose whichever option makes the most sense for your situation. You can also always consult your benefits administrator at the office where you work to identify your options.