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You may decide to retire at 62 because you can start collecting Social Security at that age and you feel ready to move on to a new stage in life. According to the Social Security Administration, you may start receiving retirement benefits as early as age 62. Your employer health benefits will likely end when you retire and you may wonder about your Medicare eligibility age.
Medicare is the government health care program for people age 65 and older and people younger than 65 with certain disabilities. Your Medicare eligible age is not correlated to when you retire and retiring early will not make you eligible for Medicare. Generally the only ways to be eligible for Medicare before age 65 is to:
If you retire at 62 and do not have a disability, you will generally have to wait three years for Medicare coverage. You can look on eHealth for an affordable individual or family health insurance plan as you wait to reach your Medicare eligible age.
There are certain advantages to waiting to retire beyond age 62 besides reaching the Medicare eligible age. If you retire early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. The amount your benefit will be reduced depends on your year of birth.
If you retire at 62, your wait for your Medicare eligible age may only be 3 years. As you wait, you can start researching about Medicare so that you are prepared to make well-informed coverage decisions. For example, you may not know that:
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.