People often confuse Medicare and Social Security since they are both government programs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines eligibility for each program, and there is a close relationship between the two though Medicare and Social Security are separate programs.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people over the age of 65, people with certain disabilities, and people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Social Security is a federal pension program that provides benefits to people over the age of 62 and people with certain disabilities.
How are Medicare and Social Security related?
Medicare and Social Security are related in a few ways including enrollment, premiums, eligibility, and additional assistance available.
Enrollment for both programs is administered through the Social Security Administration. When you first enroll in Medicare either during your Initial Enrollment Period or, if you deferred enrollment, during your Special Enrollment Period, you do so through the Social Security Administration.
Premiums for Medicare often factor the Social Security pension amounts into their annual increases. Many people on Social Security benefits have their Part B monthly premiums automatically deducted from their Social Security pension.
Most people eligible for Medicare are also eligible for Social Security benefits, and vice versa. If you are collecting Social Security benefits, you are eligible for and automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) when you turn 65. Also, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare if you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
There are a few options available for additional assistance for people on Medicare that help cover costs including premiums and prescription drug costs. To apply for these programs, you must contact the Social Security Administration.
For more information on the relationship between Medicare and Social Security or questions concerning Medicare, contact a licensed Medicare agent today.