Can I Get Medicare If I Don't Qualify for Social Security?

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 27, 2022

“I don’t get Social Security because I receive a pension from the State of Massachusetts, where I was a teacher for my entire career. But I would like to get Medicare coverage anyway. Is that possible?”

That question from our teacher friend in Massachusetts is not unusual. There are many people out there who are not receiving Social Security payments and would like to get Medicare coverage.

Are you one of them? And how can you get Medicare if you’re not receiving Social Security distributions?  Here’s what you need to know.

Yes, You Can Get Medicare . . . Here’s the Big Rule You Need to Keep in Mind

Even if you don't qualify for Social Security or don’t want it, you can still sign up for Medicare at age 65 or older, as long as you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

So yes, you can get it. But here are some details you need to know.

If You’re Not Enrolling for Social Security, You Will Not Automatically Be Enrolled in Medicare

If you visit a Social Security office or enroll for Social Security online, you will be offered the option to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (health insurance). You really can’t avoid getting a chance to enroll. But what if you never visit the Social Security office or sign up for it online? How will you get a chance to sign up for Medicare?

You need to enroll yourself, either online or by contacting Social Security.

But Beware of Penalties If You Sign Up at the Wrong Time

If you are not enrolling in Social Security but want to enroll in Medicare, you should enroll in Medicare parts A, B and D (prescription-drug coverage) as early as three months before the month you turn 65, or as late as three months after your birthday month. This is called your initial enrollment period.

If you don’t sign up during that period, you may be subject to penalties when you enroll. 

What Will Medicare Cost If You Are Not Collecting Social Security?

If you qualify for Social Security (you are 65 or older and a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident), Part A coverage is free. The Part B premium will cost you $170.10 a month, but that increases if you earn more than $91,000 a year.

If you want to purchase a Part D prescription drug plan, it’s best to do so during your initial enrollment period (see above). If you don’t, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties.

Want to Know More about Enrolling in Medicare?

Visit they’ll help you find the right Medicare coverage that you deserve. Reach out today and start finding the best Medicare plan for you. is a digital-first health insurance platform focused on Medicare. The company’s mission is to make Medicare more transparent and accessible for America’s 60 million Medicare beneficiaries. They aim to simplify a traditionally confusing and complex decision by delivering you a simple, delightful, and comprehensive enrollment experience.


Is Social Security and Medicare mandatory?


If an employer does not offer a retirement plan, they must withhold Social Security and Medicare from your paycheck.


Can I get Medicare at 65 even if I don't retire?


You can get Medicare when you turn 65 even if you’re still working, but you must contact the Social Security office to sign up.


Can I get Medicare if I've never worked?


You may be able to get the free Part A Medicare if you’ve never worked, but it will depend on your spouse’s work history and whether or not you have a disability. You may also pay a premium for Part A Medicare.