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Old 12-27-2017, 10:32 AM   #1
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SS Question

Can you call SS and set up an account over the phone when you are ready to take SS? I know you can do it online and go to an office somewhere but can you call them and get set up for the benefit?

Also if you take SS before 65 do you need to sign up for Medicare or is it done once you sign up and take SS before age 65? So nothing I would have to do to receive Medicare if I take SS before age 65?
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:38 AM   #2
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Can you call SS and set up an account over the phone when you are ready to take SS? I know you can do it online and go to an office somewhere but can you call them and get set up for the benefit?

Also if you take SS before 65 do you need to sign up for Medicare or is it done once you sign up and take SS before age 65? So nothing I would have to do to receive Medicare if I take SS before age 65?
Yes you can enroll over the phone.
You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A & Part B if you take social security early. However, you may want to investigate Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans as traditional Medicare has higher coinsurance and deductibles.

Make friends with both Social Security (create an account!) and with Medicare web sites. All these types of questions are answered there.

- Rita
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thank you.
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Easy sign up!
Old 12-28-2017, 08:07 AM   #4
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Easy sign up!

I turned 65 last Sept. Started SS in Aug so Medicare would start automatically and part B taken out of SS check because medicare part b is taken out first of month (or preceding month) and ss check is paid end of month. SS encouraged me to sign up on line or phone. I was surprised how easy it was to sign up. Had birth certificate and tax papers ready and they didn't need anything.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:16 AM   #5
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Can you call SS and set up an account over the phone when you are ready to take SS? I know you can do it online and go to an office somewhere but can you call them and get set up for the benefit?
I would call and try to set it up a month or more ahead of time, so that it's in the system when the first payment becomes available. That way it comes to you as direct deposit, instead of a check in the mail, or worse as the Direct Express debit card that comes with all kinds of fees and limitations.

And then I'd call back a week later to make sure it was actually updated to whatever you wanted when you called, because otherwise when you think your bank account is all set up, you find a check in the mail and your first couple deposits in that stupid debit card. Ask me how I know.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:02 PM   #6
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Street-
Check out your state health dept. dphhs.mt.gov > SLTC > aging > SHIP
Unbiased help on your questions
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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Thank you all once again for the help and your experiences it is a big help for us.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:31 PM   #8
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Yes you can enroll over the phone.
You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A & Part B if you take social security early. However, you may want to investigate Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans as traditional Medicare has higher coinsurance and deductibles.

Make friends with both Social Security (create an account!) and with Medicare web sites. All these types of questions are answered there.

- Rita
How are you enrolled in Medicare if you take SS early? Medicare is 65yo, SS early is 62yo. From what I was able to goggle, you can't sign up for Medicare before 65 other than a few months to set up.
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
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Skipro33....i think he means that if you ARE signed up for SS any time between 62 and 65 you are automatically enrolled in Medicare at 65, no further action on your part...

If you take SS AFTER you turn 65 (like someone who may wait til FRA at 66)...you must "manually" start Medicare by your 65th birthday..I think you are then billed for Medicare as a separate expense until you DO start SS.

If you fail to enroll in Medicare by 65, it may cost more when you DO get around to it....
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:40 PM   #10
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Thanks Lcountz! I did not know this. I figured if I took SS at 62, I'd have to also remember to sign up for Medicare at 65. One of the reasons I am planning to take SS early is that I get the extra income for 3 years sans the Medicare premiums. (About $5,000)
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:34 AM   #11
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One of the reasons I am planning to take SS early is that I get the extra income for 3 years sans the Medicare premiums. (About $5,000)
Now this is the point I was trying to make (apparently unsuccessfully) about 6 months ago! However note that your $5K is diluted by the "loss" of extra $ taking it at 65.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:44 PM   #12
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Now this is the point I was trying to make (apparently unsuccessfully) about 6 months ago! However note that your $5K is diluted by the "loss" of extra $ taking it at 65.
I'm a "bird in the hand" sorta guy. Especially when the "two in the bush" relies on our elected officials calling all the shots.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:02 PM   #13
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I have no problem leaving the marshmallow on the plate if there is a guarantee of a second marshmallow. Social Security is not as simple as waiting for the second marshmallow.

That extra money for those three years is something I saw immediately but no one seems to include in any calculations. My decision was based primarily on family history and the use of the money to pay off rental mortgages - a pretty decent yield on that money.

I don't trust the folks in Washington, but that was a secondary consideration.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:11 PM   #14
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One of the reasons I am planning to take SS early is that I get the extra income for 3 years sans the Medicare premiums. (About $5,000)
I don't understand this at all. Are you doing without healthcare completely from 62 to 65?

What does the fact that Medicare starts at 65 have to do with anything? Paying for healthcare and receiving social security benefits are two different things.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:19 PM   #15
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I don't understand this at all. Are you doing without healthcare completely from 62 to 65?

What does the fact that Medicare starts at 65 have to do with anything? Paying for healthcare and receiving social security benefits are two different things.
My medical is covered under my pension. I pay roughly $100 a month out of my pension for my HMO.

SS is tied to health care because everyone is forced to sign up for Medicare at 65 regardless if they have medical coverage already accounted for or not and it's paid out of SS whether you want it to be paid that way or not. At age 65 I'll have to continue to pay my pension's medical premiums AND I'll have to pay for Medicare out of my SS. Until then, I'll keep the Medicare premium as income with the early draw of SS. If I didn't draw SS at age 65, I'd still be billed for Medicare and I'd still be paying my medical insurance premium, so either way I am paying a whole lot more for medical, percentage-wise, than prior to 65 without any improvement of coverage.

There is just no way I'm going to trust that SS won't be means tested or some other attempt made to limit my draws of my investment into SS, so I'll take it as soon as I can get it and establish that it is mine, earned and funded by my dollars. That may not mean much, but at least it's more than not establishing that the funds are rightfully mine currently.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:59 PM   #16
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SS is tied to health care because everyone is forced to sign up for Medicare at 65 regardless if they have medical coverage already accounted for or not and it's paid out of SS whether you want it to be paid that way or not. At age 65 I'll have to continue to pay my pension's medical premiums AND I'll have to pay for Medicare out of my SS. Until then, I'll keep the Medicare premium as income with the early draw of SS. If I didn't draw SS at age 65, I'd still be billed for Medicare and I'd still be paying my medical insurance premium, so either way I am paying a whole lot more for medical, percentage-wise, than prior to 65 without any improvement of coverage.
This is not necessarily true. When we married, DH was 65 and started SS; I was 50 and still working. While he may have automatically had Medicare A, he never signed up for Medicare B and the prescription Plan and Supplement till I retired at age 61. So, he never paid a dime for those coverages. He was covered by my employers' plans, which for some reason were primary. When he did sign up at age 76, since we were able to prove he'd had "creditable coverage" since turning 65, there were no penalties.

So- if the plan you have now qualifies as "creditable coverage", you may not need to buy Medicare A, a supplement or the prescription plan till you turn 65. Check with the HR department of your last employer.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:47 PM   #17
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It's uncommon these days for the employer health care to remain primary once Medicare kicks in. I knew someone at Amazon that had that benefit. Good health insurance and no Part B for him or his wife.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:27 PM   #18
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If you take SS AFTER you turn 65 (like someone who may wait til FRA at 66)...you must "manually" start Medicare by your 65th birthday..I think you are then billed for Medicare as a separate expense until you DO start SS.
This is correct, and that was my experience since I waited until age 66 (FRA for me) to start SS. Prior to that I was billed directly on a quarterly basis until I started SS.

The good news is that if you have an HSA you can pay the Medicare premiums with that money instead of after-tax funds.
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:20 PM   #19
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athena53, my plan is, I believe, as Another Reader described. I base that on what they guys who retired before me told me happened to them. But I'll check and verify just to be sure. Maybe they didn't need to pay for Part B. I'll find out! Thanks
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