Subscribe to the AARP Money Newsletter for more on work, retirement and finances Medicare is for people 65 and up and comes in four parts.Part A, for hospital bills, is "free" and supported by the payroll tax, but also has copays and deductibles.It's especially handy if one spouse has earned significantly more than the other, leading to a disparity in their Social Security benefits."You don't have to be rich to do this," said Andy Landis, a Seattle consultant and author of "Social Security: The Inside Story." Baby boomers, who began retiring in significant numbers this year, will want to keep this strategy in their hip pocket. The bureaucrats call it something else: "voluntary suspension of retirement benefits." It's available to anyone who's reached full retirement age.The age-66 filer also has higher monthly payments for the rest of his or her life.Age 78 is the first break-even point for most filers. That's when a person who waits to age 70 to claim benefits reaches the break-even point, says Mark Landis, a Seattle consultant and author of "Social Security: The Inside Story." That's when the total payout exceeds what the filer could've earned by claiming earlier.If more information is required after a claim for Austudy has been lodged and the person has been notified to provide the information/documentation within a specified time period, the person must provide all required material within that time.
Now I'm going to cover another technique that can maximize benefits for couples in some situations. It's called "file-and-suspend." It's ideal for couples close in age who have enough non-Social Security resources to live on for a while, or who want to continue working past their official retirement age.
It can cover the portions of the hospital bills that your employer plan doesn't pay once you've met the Medicare deductibles.
Generally speaking, a retiree today who claims benefits at age 62 instead of their official retirement age of 66 will get more money overall -- to a point. That's when the age-66 filer catches and exceeds the early filer in total money collected.
Medicare Advantage plans (known as Part C) cover all these health services in their benefit packages. For more choice of providers, select Parts A, B and D.
If you (or your spouse) are still working at 65 or beyond and are covered by an employer health plan, consider signing up for free Medicare Part A.