Can I Get Medicare if I Retire at 62? – Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Olmos by Mike Olmos | Licensed since 2010
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This article was updated on: 10/28/2018

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In most cases, you need to be age 65 or older to be eligible for Medicare. But there are some important things to know about Medicare eligibility and costs, whether you’re 62, 65, or any age.

What if I retire at 62?

Generally, you aren’t eligible for Medicare if you retire at 62, unless you qualify for Medicare under age 65 as described below.

Retiring at 62? Know the Medicare eligibility age.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is the government fee-for-service health insurance program for qualified people aged 65 and older. In some cases, you might qualify for Medicare if you’re under 65. Here’s a quick overview about who is eligible for Medicare.

  • You must be a United States citizen or legal resident of at least five years in a row.
  • You must be age 65 or older, unless you qualify by disability as described below.

If you’re under age 65, you might be eligible for Medicare if you have:

  • Received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months in a row
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s syndrome)
  • End-stage renal disease (ESRD)

Can you get Medicare if you retire at 62 and your spouse is 65?

What if you’re married, and one spouse reaches age 65 before the other? For example, if you’re married and you retire at 62, and your spouse is 65, you might be wondering whether both of you are covered together under Medicare.

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) only cover people individually. But in some cases, your work history might mean that your spouse doesn’t have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. (You generally don’t pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A if you’ve worked at least 10 years while paying Medicare taxes.)

Suppose your spouse turns 65 and qualifies for Medicare, and you’re younger.

  • If he or she hasn’t worked in a paying job, and you’re younger than age 62, your spouse typically needs to pay a Part A premium.
  • But if you’re at least 62 years old and have worked at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, your spouse generally won’t have to pay a Part A premium.
  • Either way, if you’re retiring at age 62, you generally won’t be eligible for Medicare, even if your spouse is eligible.

Even if you’re not retiring at 62, you might be thinking ahead about your Medicare plan options. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about Medicare coverage.  You can:

  • Arrange an appointment to talk with me by phone, or ask me to email you some customized Medicare plan options. Just follow the links below.
  • Check out Medicare plan options on your own. Just click the Compare Plans or Find Plans buttons on this page and enter your zip code.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

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