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Retiring At Age 62, Can You Get COBRA Until Age 65?

My mom is thinking of retiring at the end of the year. She is 62 years old and would not be entitled to Medicare until she is 65. Her employer has 25 employees. We were recently told by a family member that you can pick up COBRA health insurance and keep it until you turn 65 and pick up Medicare as long as you are 62 when you retire. Is this correct? My mom would love to retire but does not want to worry about not have insurance coverage.

Retirees may use COBRA Insurance For 18 Months

Your mom would be eligible for COBRA continuation when she retires. Retirement is a qualifying event. When a qualified beneficiary retires from their job, the retired worker is entitled for up to 18 months health insurance continuation, which is the maximum amount of time an employee can keep COBRA continuation.

If the employee retires and is entitled to Medicare on the same date, then their spouse or dependent would be eligible to continue on their group health plan for up to 36 months.

Medicare At Age 65

After your employer insurance expires, you’ll sign up for Medicare within 8 months.

In general, you can sign up for Part A and Part B starting three months before your 65th birthday and ending three months after your 65th birthday.

  • Even if you choose COBRA or other non-Medicare coverage, your 8-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B begins when you stop working.
  • If you lose your job-based health insurance before you or your spouse retire, you have 8 months to enroll.

Learn More About COBRA and Medicare

  • How To Avoid The COBRA Medicare Trap
  • Working Past Retirement Age
  • Learn About Medicare Advantage
  • Helpful Resources

More About Medicare And Retirement

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