Essentials of Social Security Medicare Benefits

Discover the essential Social Security Medicare connection and how it benefits you.

There continues to be confusion in understanding the difference between Social Security and Medicare. The basic need-to-know fact is that they really are more alike than different. One provides monthly cash retirement benefits (SSA) and the other provides health insurance benefits (Medicare).

Social Security Medicare Eligibility Requirements

Recipients of Social Security Retirement and of Social Security Medicare benefits must be over age 65, or under age 65 with certain disabilities.

Think of Social Security Administration as the Gatekeeper

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers and oversees the payments of retirement, disability, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (family or survivors). The SSA makes the ultimate decision on Medicare eligibility but this is only because they compile, store and evaluate the nation’s citizenship, birth, death, and work records.

For example, if a person applies for retirement benefits the SSA identifies them based on their Social Security number as a citizen who is of an eligible age who has contributed through paying taxes. They will automatically be accepted to begin receiving Social Security Retirement benefits upon their 65th birthday.

Magic Number = 65

There is a window of enrollment that must be adhered to: three months before the 65th birthday and up to seven months after. Having previously applied and currently receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, the individual will automatically be enrolled in Medicare upon their 65th birthday. If not, they must apply for the Medicare health insurance program through the SSA.

Social Security Medicare Basics

Part A-Hospital coverage.

Part B-Medical coverage.

Part C-Advantage Plans.

Part D-Prescription drug plan.

Easy Essentials

Medicare is the country’s FEDERAL health insurance program for people over 65. Its goal is to only help with health care and clearly does not cover all expenses. Alone it will not cover the majority of long-term nursing care expenses. It is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes paid over a worker’s work life by the worker and employers and other sources. Please refer to for 2012 monthly premium amounts and complete information on Social Security Medicare.

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