Becoming Eligible for Medicare

Last Updated December 19, 2021

Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 and older, or under age 65 with certain disabilities. You should enroll three months before your 65th birthday if you aren’t enrolled automatically (e.g., you already receive Social Security benefits).

Your Benefits Through Medicare

You should learn about the benefits provided through Medicare (Parts A, B, C and D) and how they coordinate with any coverage you may choose to purchase through another medical program.

Once you are eligible for Medicare, you will receive information from insurance companies encouraging you to enroll in their Part C and/or Part D plans. You may wish to review their plan information, but keep in mind Medicare will not allow you to be enrolled in more than one Medicare Part C or Part D plan. Find more details about Medicare coverage.

Medicare Parts A and B

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) is free and covers inpatient hospital care. If you or your spouse meet certain conditions, it also covers skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home health care.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) requires a premium and covers medically necessary services like doctors’ office visits and outpatient care. It also covers some preventive services.

You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and enrolled in and paying for Part B to sign up for a Medicare Part C/Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C plans (or Medicare Advantage Plans) combine Part A, Part B and, sometimes, Part D coverage.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans provide prescription drug benefits.

Working Past Age 65

If you are thinking about working past age 65, there are many things you need to consider, including:

  • When will you start collecting Social Security benefits? If you start to receive benefits while you are still working, your Social Security benefits will be reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits for the months before you reach full retirement age. Your earnings after you reach full retirement age, however, won’t reduce your benefits. Learn more.
  • What about Medicare?
    • If you start receiving Social Security benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A unless you specify otherwise, so it’s important to learn how Medicare coordinates with your active medical coverage through RRD.
    • If you are Medicare eligible when you retire, you may continue your active medical coverage under COBRA until the end of your qualifying COBRA coverage period.
    • Medicare generally will be secondary to your or your spouse’s coverage under RR Donnelley’s Group Health Program for active employees and requires you to be enrolled in and paying for Medicare Part B.
  • What about participating in a health savings account (HSA)? If you’re enrolled in Medicare (even if you are auto-enrolled in Part A), you cannot contribute to your HSA but you can continue to use the funds in your HSA for eligible health care expenses tax-free. After you reach age 65, you can also use your HSA to pay for things other than health care expenses. In this case, the amount you withdraw will be treated as taxable income, but it will not be subject to other penalties. For more information, contact HealthEquity.