Because of the close relationship between Medicare and Social Security, people often get these two programs confused. Although there are connections between Medicare and Social Security, they are actually two separate government programs. Working with Medicare on a daily basis gives us perspective on the relationship between Social Security and Medicare that we want to share with you!
Medicare vs. Social Security
Medicare: government-funded health coverage for people over the age of 65, those with certain chronic disabilities and individuals with End Stage Renal Disease.
Social Security: a government pension for people over the age of 62 and those with chronic disabilities.
How Are Medicare and Social Security Related?
Many recipients of Medicare are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits and vice versa. In addition to eligibility, there are a few other ways that Medicare and Social Security overlap.
Both programs require your initial enrollment to be done through the Social Security Administration. When you first enroll in a Medicare plan or if you need to defer your Medicare coverage (for example, to go back on an employer plan), you would do so through the Social Security Administration.
Social Security pension amounts are factored into annual Medicare premium increases. The most common payment method for the Part B premium is through automatic deductions from a Social Security pension.
If an individual collects Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, they become eligible for and are automatically enrolled in Medicare. Similarly, if a person is collecting Social Security when they turn 65, they are automatically enrolled onto Medicare (they have the option to defer Medicare if they have other coverage).
Medicare offers multiple levels of assistance to those on Medicare. These programs help cover expenses such as premiums and prescription costs. Applicants must contact the Social Security Administration in order to apply.