Social security and medicare — lasting sources of independence

This month, communities everywhere celebrate our nation’s independence
with fireworks, family, and friends. A strong community also creates independence as we help each other recognize our full potential.

Social Security has been helping people maintain a higher quality of life and a level
of independence for over 80 years. And Medicare has been doing the same for over
five decades.

Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. For many older Americans,
this is their primary health insurance and without it, they might not enjoy an independent

The four parts of Medicare are as easy as A, B, C, and D.

Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient
hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and
home health care. Most people get Medicare Part A
premium-free since it is earned by working and paying
Social Security taxes.

Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover services
from doctors and other outpatient health care
providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable
medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. Some
high-income individuals pay more than the standard
premium. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B
during your initial enrollment period and then decide
to do so later, your coverage may be delayed and you
may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long
as you have Part B.

Part C (Medicare Advantage) allows you to
choose to receive all of your health care services
through a provider organization. This plan
includes all benefits and services covered under
Part A and Part B, usually includes Medicare
prescription drug coverage, and may include
extra benefits and services at an extra cost. You
must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C.
Monthly premiums vary depending on the state
where you live, private insurer, and whether
you select a health maintenance organization or
a preferred provider organization.

Part D (Medicare prescription drug
coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription
drugs. Many people pay a premium for Part
D. However, people with low income and resources
may qualify for Extra Help to pay the premium and
deductible. If you don’t enroll in a Medicare drug
plan when you’re first eligible, you may pay a late
enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. You will
have to pay this penalty for as long as you have
Medicare prescription drug coverage.

To see if you qualify for extra help visit


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