Social Security and Medicare work together

May 9, 2022
KSAM: Social Security and Medicare work together

A common misconception about Social Security and Medicare is that a beneficiary has to be receiving social security benefits to enroll in Medicare. This is not true. To help clarify how these two work together, let me give you a tip to avoid a Medicare nightmare.

Beware of auto-enrollment

If a beneficiary is drawing Social Security four months before their 65th birthday, they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. This can be for their benefit, a spouse’s benefit, a widow's benefit, or a disability benefit.

If a beneficiary doesn’t know they are being auto-enrolled, these two things can happen:

  1. 1. They miss their Medicare Card.

When they turn 64, they start getting bombarded with insurance mailers, and this can be misleading. Beneficiaries assume their Medicare card is one of these. If they are auto-enrolled, they will receive an envelope in the mail between one and four months before their 65th birthday containing their Medicare card.

  1. 2. They may end up paying double for health insurance when they don’t need to.

If a beneficiary plans to stay on their employer’s health insurance (either theirs or their spouse's) once they turn 65, as well as claim Social Security, they could pay double for insurance if they were auto-enrolled in Medicare.

If a beneficiary’s current employer coverage meets Medicare rules, a beneficiary CAN delay joining Medicare.

Medicare Part B in 2022 costs most beneficiaries $170.10 a month. So, if they are auto-enrolled and do not need to be, they could be overpaying.

It’s important to remember that Social Security and Medicare are two different things. Most beneficiaries usually start drawing Social Security and join Medicare at different times.

Medicare is a decision around your health requirements, whereas Social Security is typically around your income needs.

Medicare can be complicated!