Can I Sign Up for Medicare If I’ve Delayed Social Security?

Learn what to do if you're 65 and have delayed SS benefits

by Katie Banks+ on Feb 22, 2016 | 7 Comments

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Many people choose to delay Social Security benefits for various reasons.  Does this delay mean you can not enroll in Medicare when you turn 65? This is a question we get a lot here at Senior65 so we figured we need to spend a little time explaining how it works and what you should do.

Can You Enroll in Medicare if You Delayed Social Security?

Absolutely! You can enroll in Medicare if you have delayed Social Security (SS) benefits, but you won’t be automatically signed up like those who are receiving SS benefits. You will have to actively sign up for Social Security at a later date and might not be able to do so online.

If You Delay Social Security, Should You Enroll in Original Medicare?

Original Medicare is broken up into two parts: Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (Medical Benefits).  If you have delayed Social Security benefits because you are still working, you will almost always want to enroll in Medicare Part A.  If you have qualifying job-based insurance, however, you will most-likely want to delay Medicare Part B.  Since your work insurance almost always will be covering these medical benefits, why pay for them twice?  You can sign up for Part B without a penalty when your work coverage ends. Delaying Part B has another benefit:

Delaying Part B will allow you enroll in Medigap later-on without answering medical questions. 

You only have 6 months to sign up for for guaranteed-issuance Medigap after you sign up for Part B so delaying this portion of Medicare will give you more options later.

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote

Next Steps for Enrolling in Medicare if You have Delayed SS

If you have decided to delay Social Security, just contact Medicare, and they can help you enroll in Part A and/or Part B. Then you once you’re ready to enroll in a Medicare Health Plan, contact us at 800-930-7956, and our licensed independent insurance agents can help you find the right Supplemental plan for you.


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Reader Comments and Questions

By Delta on January 02, 2019

i have not ap;plied for ss but i understand i should sign upfor medficare i have Champ V A

By Paul on May 22, 2018

This question is about how I get billed for Medicare if I delay taking Social Security. I understand that if I am on Medicare and have Social Security that the billing for Medicare is deducted from my Social Security benefit. If I enroll in Medicare buy delay taking Social Security until age 70 will Medicare just bill me directly until I start taking Social Security?

Please contact the Center for Medicare Services directly for billing related questions.
-Jacima from

By Edward on April 03, 2018

I am turning 65 in May - I am currently covered under my wife's employer policy. I do not plan on collecting social security until I'm 66 years old. Do I still have to file for Medicare?

Check with your wife's HR department but usually you will want to enroll in Medicare Part A when you first turn 65 but not enroll in part B until you come off your wife's plan. You will want to sign up for Medicare Part B, Part D drugs (and a Medicare supplemental Medigap plan if desired) when you come off her coverage. We can help you with the Part D when that time comes.
-Eric from

By Gary on October 16, 2017

Can I choose a plan after i enroll in medicare

Yes, you can choose a plan after you enroll in medicare. Give us a call if you need any help selecting a plan or enrolling
-Eric from

By Sunny on December 04, 2016

I will have enough credits to qualify for ss and medicare after the first quarter of 2018. I will be 68. Can i apply for ss and medicare in april 2018? Or do i have to wait til open registration at the end of the year?

You will want to contact Medicare directly for this information -as they are the only ones who can confirm when your Medicare will begin.
-Amy from

By Diane on September 13, 2016

I currently have Obamacare but turn 65 in Dec. If I apply for Medicare in Dec so my start date is Jan 1, will my subsidy for the Obamacare be lost for Dec? I was considering this as I have met my deductibles for the year under my current insurance.

If you are collecting Social Security, or plan to when you turn 65, you should be automatically enrolled in Medicare with a start date of Dec 1. You will want to contact CMS to see if you can delay your enrollment, because once you are enrolled in Medicare, you cannot enroll/stay enrolled in an Exchange plan. Instead you would enroll in either a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan if you would like. For help with either one of these plans call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from

By Marty Sherwin on February 23, 2016

Does delaying S.S make Medicare Part B cost more. I think I read something saying those that pay for part B through social security pay less than those who do not.

You're partially right! For those Medicare beneficiaries who received Social Security benefits BEFORE December 31, 2015, they pay a lower premium than those who have delayed their benefits. However, as of 2016, not only will persons who delayed SS benefits pay a higher premium, anyone NEW to Medicare Part B in 2016 will, as well -so, for new beneficiaries it doesn't matter at this point for the premium cost if you're taking SS benefits or not.
-Chris from

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

We will not publish your last name or email if you submit this form.

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