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My husband is 63; I turn 65 in Feb 2014. We are both covered by his employer's health insurance. He will not retire until 2016, at which time we will sign up for Medicare (since we will not have employer's insurance anymore). If I turn down Medicare when I turn 65 next Feb (since I don't need it yet), will I be penalized or will it be difficult for me/us to get Medicare when my husband retires, and therefore we will need it, in 2016?

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Thank you Beanie. Now that Government is back up and running, I'll give them a call.
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Hey Brightclam; you might want to contact Medicare about your specific situation. There are situations in which you might be penalized by not signing up for Medicare when YOU are first eligible, regardless of your spouse's insurance and his eligibility. My experience has been with Medicare after going on disability and could be different from yours. I know it is confusing. Good luck!
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Thank you Igloo. I retired at 63 and filed for SS, based on my own work history. And yes, I am getting LOTS of mail about Medicare plans, lol. I can see that having both Medicare AND my DH's employer's healthcare would be good for the reason you stated...is there any other reason?? Because we would have to pay for Medicare Part B in addition to the employer-provided insurance.

I also don't understand what you mean about drawing on the benefit of the higher income spouse....my understanding is that we will get TWO benefit checks when my DH retires...mine AND his. I thought you only took the higher of the two if one of you dies....
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Bright - you should enroll in Medicare but you would not use it. You may want to buy a bigger mailbox too....you won't believe the amount of mail you will be getting from all sorts of health insurance Medicare plans.

My DH is 65 and just did the Medicare enrollment in advance of his birthday. He is still working and is on his employers heath insurance. He won't use his Medicare but is enrolled. Since he is still working, there is still FICA taken out of his paycheck that goes to SS & Medicare via his FICA. His Medicare just sits there but he doesn't use it just yet. Now what is good about this is IF something happens and the hospital he goes to is not within his insurance provider network then the hospital bill can go to Medicare as almost all hospitals take Medicare. Our preferred network is Oschner Health Systems, which is really only in Louisiana, so having this flexibility is good when we travel. Going to out-of-network can be very expensive.

Are you taking your SS? I ask this because alot of our married friends are 65 & such that they are close to the same age and can get their SS benefit. I am in my 50's so this doesn't work for us. Now my DH will probably work till 70 and delay his SS till he is 68 (we have a teenager and he will be off in college when DH turns 68...well that is our plan!). What some of our 62 - 66 yr old friends are doing is having the younger spouse as soon as they turn 62 draw on the other & still working spouse's SS benefit. Then when they finally retire, they draw on their benefit of the higher income spouse.....whichever pays more SS. Now what are you doing with your SS benefit? Are you drawing it? Could you draw on your hubby's SS, if it was higher? It is something to think about.
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