It’s possible to get Medicare without claiming Social Security, but there are steps you need to take to make it happen

A lot of people choose to delay Social Security payments in exchange for a larger monthly payment during retirement. But delaying Social Security means that you will not automatically be signed up for Medicare Parts A and B like most people are.

Can You Get Medicare Without Social Security?

Fortunately, getting Medicare without Social Security isn’t that complicated. As long as you know your enrollment periods and are on top of some simple tasks, you can still enroll in Medicare starting at age 65.

In this blog, I’ll explain how to sign up for Medicare without claiming Social Security. I’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security, “full retirement age”, Medicare enrollment periods, and more.

Medicare Without Social Security: Things to Keep in Mind

  • You can claim Social Security as early as 62 years old, or as late as 70. Claiming before your full retirement age (see section below) will decrease your monthly payments. Claiming after your full retirement age can increase your monthly payments through retirement.
  • Medicare eligibility is 65 years old. If you’re not claiming Social Security when you are about to turn 65, you will not be ‘automatically’ enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • Enrolling in Medicare without Social Security is easy, but you need to have a plan in place for filling your critical Medicare coverage gaps (i.e., Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement).
  • If you’re ready to sign up for a Medicare plan, you’re entitled to free, professional help from a Personal Benefits Manager. (Click here to schedule your consultation).

Get a Free Medicare Supplement Quote

How to Get Medicare Without Claiming Social Security

  1. Your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday. At this time, you can go online to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B, (AKA ‘Original Medicare’).
  2. Once you’re enrolled, you will receive a bill for the monthly Part B premium (Normally a cost that is deducted directly from Social Security payments).
  3. The next step is making a plan to cover the gaps in your Medicare coverage. These are the out-of-pocket costs that, if not planned for, can quickly drain your retirement savings. The most popular options are standalone Medicare supplement plans (Medigap), or privately operated Medicare Advantage plans.
  4. Review your Medicare options annually to ensure that you’re still getting the best rates and coverage. If you have a change in your budget, your health, or your dependents, there could be an opportunity to bring down your costs.

Medicare Without Claiming Social Security: Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Q: Can I get Medicare without Social Security?

A: Anyone who is 65 or older can enroll in Medicare, even if they are not collecting Social Security.

Q: How do I pay for the Part B premium if I don’t have Social Security?

A: If you’re not collecting Social Security, you will receive a monthly bill for the Part B premium.

Q: How much does Medicare take out of Social Security?

A: The standard Medicare Part B premium in 2023 is $164.90 per month. However, this can be higher depending on your income and your work history. [See Medicare Pricing 2024 for a complete breakdown of Medicare costs].

Q: Can I get Medicare if I have never worked?

A: You can still get Medicare at age 65 if you have never worked. However, your Part B premium will be significantly higher as a result.

Q: Does Medicare cover dental?

A: Medicare does not cover most dental care. Most current Medicare enrollees choose to supplement their coverage in order to receive dental benefits.

Get a Free Medicare Advantage Quote

Need to Sign Up for Medicare?

The most important thing to know about signing up for Medicare is that Part A and Part B are not enough to cover your medical costs in retirement. When you add up the Part B premium, the Part A & B deductibles, copays, coinsurance, vision tests, hearing aids, dental work, and more, there is a lot that Medicare doesn’t cover.

This is why a majority of Medicare recipients choose to strengthen their Medicare with an additional plan, like Medigap or Medicare Advantage. Learn more about the Deadline to sign up with a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan

If you’re ready to sign up for a Medicare plan, click here to schedule a free consultation with a Personal Benefits Manager. Or you can reach us at the office by calling 800-913-3416.

Need to do some more research? The MediGap Advisors Blog is updated twice per month with expert advice on all things Medicare. You can also learn more about MediShare 65+ Health Sharing plans here

Mike Montes is a Personal Benefits Manager at MediGap Advisors. Mike has a passion for bringing clarity to those confused about Medicare. He is an authority on Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug plans. Read more about Mike on his Bio page.