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Separating? Think About Medicare


Whether or not you’re ready for Medicare, the first thing to know about it is that you must enroll for it by age 65. For many people, Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) was already paid for through your Medicare deductions while you worked. However, Medicare Part B requires premium payments, which are based on your annual federal income tax returns. You will need to begin the process of enrolling in Medicare three months prior to turning 65 to avoid late enrollment penalties. If you do not enroll in Medicare by 65, there will be a 10% surcharge on Medicare Part B premiums for every year you go without coverage. Enrollment can be delayed without a penalty if you maintain healthcare through an employer but you must advise Medicare.

For more information about Medicare costs, enrollment and other benefits, visit

If you intend to live or travel overseas, it is important to note that Medicare is only available for coverage within the United States and U.S. Territories. If you intend to spend time overseas, ensure you have other healthcare coverage that will cover your out of country medical care.

For more information on additional topics to consider in preparing for military separation, please see the following:

If you have questions, please contact an AAFMAA Member Benefits representative at 888-691-4574 Option 2, then option 2 again, or [email protected].

When you’re ready to retire, or to consider it, check out our 7 Decisions Before You Retire series for information about other choices you’ll need to make.