AARP's Fraud Resource Center can help protect your digital identity! Learn more.
Although age 66 is now full retirement age for Social Security benefits, you still qualify for Medicare at age 65 if you meet the conditions for eligibility. (For those conditions, see the answer to the question “How do I qualify for Medicare?” elsewhere in this tool.)
Medicare enrollment is not tied to Social Security retirement benefits. You can apply for Medicare at age 65, or at any later time, depending on your circumstances. You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits at any age from 62 onward. Many people wait until they reach full retirement age at 66 (when they’re entitled to full benefits) or postpone their application until age 70 (which maximizes their benefit payments for future years).
Be aware that if you’re entitled to Medicare at 65 and are not receiving health insurance from an employer for which you or your spouse actively works, you would be risking delayed coverage and permanent late penalties if you waited until full retirement age to enroll in Medicare.
Return to Medicare Q&A Tool main page >>
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at