Medicare and Social Security

You might be wondering, how does Medicare and Social Security work together? They are both considered “social safety programs”, which every working American pays into through their taxes. These two programs are created to help retirees through financial and health benefits. Social security assist in financial support, while Medicare provides the health insurance.

While Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Social Security is under the Social Security Administration. Although they are controlled by different departments, they work hand and hand. Since the SSA determines who is qualified to receive Medicare and obtain Social Security benefits, they can be considered as a steppingstone for Medicare.

Without the Social Security Administration, people could not acquire Medicare. The SSA determines eligibility for Medicare by a simple rule, which is that one is required to earn a minimum of 40 credits. A working individual can produce up to 4 credits annually. As of 2019, one credit is equivalent to $1,360.

The way the SSA determines eligibility for benefits are through the worker’s age and an income earned formula. There are a few specific requirements with these two factors.

  • Individuals must be between 62 and 70 years of age. For example, if someone begins their benefits before their full retirement age (determined by birth year). This person will be giving a lesser amount of benefits than what they would typically receive. Retirees that apply post full retirement age receive 8% more in benefits, until the age of 70. 
  • The income earned formula is based on the 35 highest-earning years. For more information on how to calculate, please visit this link: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf

If one is collecting benefits when they are 65, they will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. For those who are not receiving benefits will have to enroll online, over the phone or in the SSA office. The majority does not pay for Part A but will pay a Part B premium. These premiums can both be deducted out of one’s Social Security, which makes paying easier.

With all this information, it is easy for retirees to become overwhelmed. MWG Senior Services has a team of advisors ready to answer any questions regarding retirement. Call us at (877) 759-5760 or email senior.services@morganwhite.com.