Hubs has been retired since 30 June 2017, so that's 4+ years now. When he retired his employer set up a RMSA for him(retiree medical savings account)and I. Since his company phased out paying directly for retiree medical expenses(like they phased out pensions)they give each retiree a lump sum in a RMSA to pay for health insurance and Medicare supplement plans once they are 65 years old.
Since Hubs retired early we've been using this account to cover healthcare premiums as was the plan. I realized after the first year(and the outrageous rise in premium costs that first re-up year)that the amount in this RMSA was not going to bridge us to Social Security.
I ran the numbers early in 2021 and figured(depending on how much the premiums rise for 2022)the RMSA would be emptied in April or May of 2022 at the latest. So Hubs and I had a long discussion about how to handle this problem. April 2022 would be a year until Hubs hit Medicare age in 2023 and I follow him 9 months later and hit 65.
The solution we came up with was for Hubs to take early SS. He started drawing in August of this year at 63 and 4 months. We will be putting his SS check in a separate interest earning(not much but it's something!lol)account and once the RMSA runs out we'll use $$ from that SS account to pay for healthcare premiums. I don't know at this point about getting subsidies for premiums once the RMSA runs out(as long as we had that we didn't qualify for any subsidies)but I suspect our yearly income even in retirement is a smidgeon too high to qualify.
Once we both hit Medicare age we can earmark the SS earnings for other things or just use it for regular expenses as we also have an annuity to pay for living expenses as well as other savings. The annuity is "front loaded" and will go down a bit once Hubs hits regular retirement age(66 and 10 months for him)but during the time we need the SS check to pay for commercial healthcare premiums the annuity will still be as high as it is now.
This will work out advantageously for us because we aren't relying on a SS check alone for living expenses. We have a fairly hefty amount of personal savings, a 401K and that annuity mentioned before giving us a financial "4 legged stool".
Hubs early SS check is about $500 more a month than we are paying now for our healthcare premiums so we ran the numbers and we should both hit Medicare with a fair amount left in that SS check account to spare.
I know everyone's financial picture is different but taking SS early worked in our situation.