Can I Get Medicare at Age 62?

You can't get Medicare at age 62 unless you have a qualifying disability or medical condition. Most people will qualify for Medicare at age 65.

If you're looking to retire at age 62 and need insurance until Medicare begins, you have other options like an individual health plan, Medicaid or short-term medical insurance.

Review Medicare plan options with licensed insurance agents near you

Can I retire at age 62 and get Medicare?

While you can retire and get Social Security payments at age 62, you generally can't start Medicare until you turn 65. If your goal is to retire early, you'll need other health insurance to cover the three-year period before age 65.

You may be eligible for Medicare at age 62 or younger if you have a qualifying disability or health concern. In these cases, your Medicare start date depends on why you're eligible.

  • If you're receiving Social Security Disability payments, you're typically enrolled in Medicare automatically after the 24th payment.
  • If you are on Social Security due to ALS, your Medicare starts right away with no waiting period.
  • Those with kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), won't be enrolled automatically. You're usually eligible beginning on your fourth month of dialysis treatments and should apply as soon as possible.

If these conditions don't apply to you, you will be eligible for Medicare at age 65. Most people who qualify are enrolled automatically, but you may need to apply for Medicare during a seven-month period around your 65th birthday.

Medicare age requirements at a glance

Here's when you can get Medicare if you're age 65, age 62 or younger, and how or when to apply:

Age
Eligibility
Enrollment
65U.S. citizen receiving Social Security.If not enrolled automatically, must apply during a seven-month period surrounding your 65th birthday.
62Must be receiving Social Security for disability, kidney failure (ESRD) or ALS.May be enrolled automatically or must apply manually depending on the situation.
Under 62Must be receiving Social Security for disability, kidney failure (ESRD) or ALS.May be enrolled automatically or must apply manually depending on the situation.

What are my Medicare insurance options?

Whether you qualify at 62 or another age, you have several coverage options when you first join Medicare or are switching plans during the annual open enrollment period that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 of each year.

You can stay with Original Medicare, which provides good coverage but has high out-of-pocket costs. Many people who keep their Original Medicare buy Medigap plans to cover the costs left over after Medicare pays. A third option is a Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) policy that combines Original Medicare, Medigap and often prescription coverage into one plan.

If you need help selecting a plan, you can review our recommendations for Medigap and Medicare Advantage policies below.

Most people with Original Medicare also get Medicare Part D to cover their drug costs. Keep in mind you can only get Part D if you're on Original Medicare or Original Medicare with a Medigap plan.

If I can't get Medicare at age 62, what other insurance plans are available?

If you don’t qualify for Medicare at age 62, health insurance through a job is usually the cheapest way to get coverage.

Plan type
Avg. monthly cost
Description
Employer health insurance$117Coverage through your job or your spouse's employer.
COBRA insurance$703A temporary extension of coverage you had through an employer.
Individual health insurance$584Health Insurance Marketplace plans sold during open enrollment or when you qualify for a special enrollment period.
MedicaidOften $0A federal program that provides health insurance based on income and family size.
Short-term medical insurance$205Plans that provide basic, temporary coverage but are not sold in all states.

Cost reflects the average monthly payment for an individual plan. Medicaid is often free, but rates vary by income.

If you're retiring early, the cheapest and best way to get health insurance is to shop for an individual plan on HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace lets you choose from a variety of plans sold by private insurance companies.
  • All plans must provide required benefits like free preventive care and coverage for prescription drugs.
  • How much you pay for a plan is adjusted based on your income because of health insurance subsidies. This can make plans very cheap after you retire and have a lower income.

If you're retiring early, COBRA lets you continue the health insurance you had through your job. But COBRA is usually expensive since you aren't splitting the insurance cost with your employer.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Medicare eligibility age?

Medicare eligibility generally starts at age 65. But you can enroll in Medicare at any age if you have a qualifying disability or illness.

Can you retire at 62 and get Medicare?

You can retire and receive Social Security benefits at age 62, but you generally can't get Medicare until age 65 unless you're eligible for health reasons.

How much will I pay for Medicare in 2024?

Medicare Part A is generally free if you are receiving or eligible for Social Security benefits. In 2024, most people will pay $174.70 per month for Medicare Part B, but the amount can increase depending on income.

Sources

Medicare age requirements, costs and open enrollment dates were sourced from CMS.gov and Medicare.gov. We also obtained data on Medicare requirements and Social Security eligibility from SSA.gov. Information on individual health insurance plans is from the ValuePenguin study on the average cost of health insurance, using data from HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces. The cost of employer coverage is from KFF's 2023 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

ValuePenguin.com is owned and operated by LendingTree, LLC ("LendingTree"). All rights reserved.

Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a separate subsidiary of QuoteWizard, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls will be routed to a licensed insurance agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more nationally recognized insurance companies. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 73 organizations which offer 5,110 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.

These numbers provided are not specific to your area, but rather represent the number of organizations and the number of products available on a national basis. We will connect you with licensed insurance agents who can provide information about the number of organizations they represent and the number of products they offer in your service area. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.

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