Senior couple sitting at breakfast table using tablet

An important part of your transition to Medicare at age 65 is making sure you have an online Social Security account. Because Social Security and Medicare are closely aligned, ensuring upfront that your information on file is correct will help prevent delays when you’re ready to begin your healthcare benefits.

Is Medicare Part of the Social Security System?

Medicare is not run by the Social Security Administration. It is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, it’s easy to get confused about Social Security and Medicare, because both agencies are involved in the Medicare healthcare system. But, they each serve different functions.1

Here’s how the two government agencies work together for you to receive benefits:1

  • The Social Security Administration handles Medicare enrollment, so it’s your first step in the process.
  • Once you’re signed up, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services manages the system. That means you’ll receive your Medicare card, welcome information, and handbook from CMS.

You can enroll in Medicare benefits at age 65 even if you delay your Social Security benefits. Depending on your circumstances, enrolling in Medicare at 65 when you’re first eligible could help you avoid penalties you might incur if you sign up later.1

Is Medicare Deducted from Your Social Security Check?

If you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, your Medicare payments will be automatically deducted from your benefit payments. Most people do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A, but you will have to pay for Part B coverage if you select it. If you don’t have these benefits, you will receive a bill.2

Do You Automatically Get Medicare With Social Security?

In most cases, if you get Social Security or RRB benefits at least 4 months before you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and receive your Medicare card.3

Be careful, and make sure you avoid any look-alike mailing scams. Here’s what the real Medicare card looks like:

Medicare Card

 

How to Set Up a Social Security Account

To set up a Social Security account, go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and click “Create an Account.” Once you’re set up, you can change your address, replace a lost or stolen card, and check the status of an application.4 Here’s some tips to keep in mind:

  • If you need to correct your Social Security card due to a divorce, name change, court order, etc., you will have to show the Social Security Administration original identification documents such as a birth certificate, passport, and legal proof of a name change.5
  • If you don’t have a Social Security card and need to apply for one, you’ll need to present the Social Security Administration with two forms of identification, such as an original birth certificate, passport, or proof of legal residency.6
  • If you have a freeze on your credit report, you must temporarily lift it to open an account.7

How Much Is Taken Out of Your Social Security Check for Medicare?

Most Medicare beneficiaries do not have to pay for Medicare Part A because it was paid through payroll taxes while they were working.8 In 2021, the Medicare Part B premium is $148.50 for individuals earning less than $88,000 per year ($174,000 for couples).9

Ready for Medicare? HealthMarkets Can Help

Once you have your Social Security and Medicare preparations in motion, it’s time to think about coverage. HealthMarkets is here to help you determine what type of plan could work for you, find one that works with your preferences, and help you apply for the coverage you need. And we do it all at no charge to you.* Visit HealthMarkets to start now.

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References

1. Social Security Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/. Accessed November 19, 2020. | 2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/who-is-elibible-for-medicare/index.html. Accessed March 3, 2021. | 3. U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/how-do-i-get-parts-a-b. Accessed November 19, 2020. | 4. Social Security Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Accessed December 22, 2020. | 5. Social Security Administration. November 12, 2020. Retrieved from https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01981. | 6. Social Security Administration. November 10, 2020. Retrieved from https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-02017. | 7. Social Security Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/create.html. Accessed December 22, 2020. | 8. U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-a-costs. Accessed November 19, 2020. |
9. U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Disclaimer: Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. No obligation to enroll. Agents may be compensated on enrollment.

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