Can You Get On Medicare At Age 62 or Younger?

by David Bynon, last updated

As a general rule, you can’t get Medicare at age 62. However, three situations may allow you to have Medicare before the age of 65.

In this article, we will dive deep into how you can sign up for Medicare at age 62 or younger. And we’ll walk through the steps to sign up for Medicare.

Key Takeaways

  • Medicare benefits and Social Security retirement benefits are not linked.
  • You may qualify for Medicare before the age of 65 if you have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months.
  • You will qualify for Medicare immediately if you have SSDI benefits because you were diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • You can sign up for Medicare early if you were diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
  • You may qualify for Medicaid if you retire early. It all depends on your income and assets.
  • Most people qualify for Medicare on their 65th birthday.
  • At age 65, if you enroll in Medicare you also qualify for a Medigap plan.
  • The federal Medicare program does not guarantee people under age 65 can buy Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Can I Get Medicare at Age 62?

Individuals under the age of 65 with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits get their Medicare benefits 24 months after their first SSDI payment.

The 24-month waiting period is waived for people who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The rest of us wait until we turn age 65. Our Social Security retirement age does not change our Medicare eligibility age.

Can I Get Medicare Advantage at Age 62?

Even though Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private health insurance companies, they have the same enrollment rules as Original Medicare. To be eligible for Medicare Advantage, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. Otherwise, a private insurer will not allow you to join their plan.

Can I Be Turned Down for Medicare Advantage If I’m on SSDI?

In general, Medicare Advantage plans cannot deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition. However, until recently, Medicare did not require health insurance companies to accept people with permanent kidney failure. That has changed.

As of 2021, individuals with end-stage kidney disease can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Plans must cover the same services as Original Medicare but they may have restrictions and set their own out-of-pocket costs. However, cost-sharing for outpatient dialysis and immunosuppressant drugs cannot be higher than it is with Original Medicare.

Is Medicare Changing to 62?

Not likely.

If passed, the Improving Medicare Coverage Act would temporarily expand Medicare to an estimated 23 million people. However, it never moved forward in the 117th Congress. It does not seem likely that the proposed bill will ever make it to the President’s desk.

What is the Earliest Age You Can Have Medicare?

Most folks get Medicare at age 65. However, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 also qualify based on their Social Security disability benefits.

What Happens if I Retire Early? How Do I Get Health Insurance?

If you choose to take your Social Security benefits early, you have a few potential options for health insurance.

  • If your employer offers it, you can get retiree health insurance. Unfortunately, most employers no longer offer retiree health benefits.
  • You can keep your employer’s coverage through COBRA. Federal law requires employers with 20 or more employees to continue coverage after an employee leaves their job.
  • You can get health insurance through your spouse’s health plan if the plan offers dependent coverage. An employer’s health insurance may require you to wait until the annual enrollment period to get health coverage.
  • You can buy a health plan through (Affordable Care Act coverage). You can get a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to buy a plan if you had coverage through your employer and lost it when you left your job.
  • If you qualify, you can apply for Medicaid benefits.

Can I Get Medicaid Benefits If I Retire at Age 62?

You qualify for Medicaid based on your income, not your age. They go by the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines.

If you are retiring early, and Social Security will be your only source of income, the maximum benefit you can get in 2023 is $2,572, which is above the FPL for an individual. Most retirees don’t qualify for benefits anywhere near this amount.

This year the FPL for an individual is $13,590 (a both higher in Alaska and Hawaii). If your retirement income is at or below this amount, you may qualify for full Medicaid benefits.

Is Retiring at 62 a Good Idea?

Only you can make that decision.

If you don’t believe you will live a long life, it could be a very good idea. It all comes down to simple math.

If the most you can get at age 62 is $2,572, and you live to age 82, Social Security will pay you a total of $617,280 (not considering cost-of-living increases).

However, if you retire at age 70 in 2023, your maximum benefit would be $4,555 per month. In this case, by age 82 you will have received $655,920. If you live to reach 90 or older, your Social Security income will be over 1 million dollars (at the maximum benefit).

How to Sign Up for Medicare

For most individuals, Medicare enrollment is not automatic. However, if you have had Social Security benefits for at least 4 months before you qualify for Medicare, you will be automatically enrolled.

If you are not receiving Social Security, you can sign up for Medicare during your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month.

Coverage from Medicare begins no sooner than the month you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage begins on the first of the previous month.

You sign up for Medicare through Social Security. You can enroll online at or by calling 1 800-772-1213.

Do I Have to Sign Up for Medicare if I Have Medicaid?

If you retire early, and you went on Medicaid, your Medicare coverage will start automatically when you turn age 65. In most cases, this will not impact your Medicaid benefits.

Medicare and Medicaid work together. When a beneficiary has both (dual eligible), Medicare is the primary payer and Medicaid is secondary.

If you have Medicaid and you are not automatically enrolled, be aware that Medicare has late enrollment penalties. They can assess a late enrollment penalty on Part A, Part B, and Part D drug plans.

Can Immigrants Enroll in Medicare?


If you are a legal resident of the United States, you are eligible for Medicare. You can get premium-free Medicare Part A if you or your spouse worked at least 40 quarters (10 years) and paid payroll taxes.

All other requirements apply. All Medicare insurance options are available.

Do I Have to Pay for Medicare When I Retire?

Yes. Medicare has a monthly cost and out-of-pocket costs when you use healthcare services, just like regular health insurance.

If you paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years, you get premium-free Part A coverage. If not, you will have a monthly premium based on the number of years you paid Medicare taxes.

Medicare Part B also has a monthly premium. This year, most people pay per month for Part B. High-income earners pay an additional IRMAA surcharge. If you took early retirement, Medicare automatically takes the money from your Social Security payments.

Medicare also has deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment costs you pay when you use certain healthcare services. For instance, the Part A hospital inpatient deductible is $1,632 per benefit period.

The Part B medical care deductible is $240 per year. You pay this amount before Medicare begins covering any of your doctor visits and other outpatient costs.

If you need drug coverage, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. These plans are also available in Medicare Part C health plans (Medicare Advantage).

Can I Get Medicare Supplement Insurance?

As you can see from some of the costs listed above, Medicare coverage is not cheap. That’s what Medicare supplemental insurance is for. It helps cover some of the cost gaps in Medicare.

If you are turning age 65 and enroll in both Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), you have a guaranteed right to buy Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

If you are under the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare, federal law does not guarantee you can purchase a Medigap plan. However, laws in your state may give you this right.

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