Skip to main content

What may be flying under the radar at many of the Social Security seminars being held across the country is that in order to even receive this benefit one must, when eligible, enroll into Medicare or else.

With a court ruling dating back in 2011 Social Security & Medicare have become interlocked.

In March of 2011 federal Judge, Rosemary Collyer ruled that the regulations from Social Security’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) which was created in 1993 was in fact legal due to both “benefits” being defined as entitlements.

Ultimately, through this ruling, in order to receive any Social Security benefits in retirement a person, who is age 65 or older, must also accept Medicare when no longer covered by a credible health plan through an employer or spouse’s employer.

If, for any reason, a person refuses to accept Medicare then they will forfeit all current, future and even past Social Security benefits too.

This case was immediately brought to appeal by the Cato Institute, a right leaning organization, on behalf of three Federal Employee Retirees who not only didn’t want Medicare coverage, but, actually didn’t need it because of the benefits they were receiving in retirement (the case eventually added two others as well who were not Federal Employee Retirees).

Unfortunately in that appeal the Cato Institute lost and, currently, the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, thus creating a mandatory expense that every retiree must have. .

Please note that in order to meet this regulation all one needs to do is accept Medicare Part A which, if you qualify for, is free of premiums, but consider the fact that both Medicare Parts B & D, though not mandatory, do have late enrollment penalties that are compounding and perpetual – so you better enroll in them.

To calculate what your expected Medicare premiums may be in the future please see our free calculator at

For a more in depth plan we encourage those concerned about their retirement to set up an appointment with a financial professional who has access to Pie Technology’s Money Guide Pro financial planning software, arguably the hands-down best when it comes to properly planning for all of retirement’s expenses.

Dan McGrath