Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Can You Receive Medicare Without Receiving Social Security Benefits

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Are My Medicare Premiums Tax Deductible

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Medicare premiums are tax deductible. However, you can deduct premiums only once your out-of-pocket medical expenses reach a certain limit.

The IRS has set that limit at 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income . Your AGI is the money you make after taxes are taken out of each paycheck.

The IRS allows you to deduct any out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, including premiums, that are more than 7.5 percent of your AGI.

So, if you have an AGI of $50,000, you could deduct healthcare expenses after youve paid $3,750 in medical expenses. Depending on your premiums and other healthcare spending, you might not reach this number.

If your spending is less than 7.5 percent of your AGI, you cant deduct any healthcare expenses, including premiums. However, if your healthcare spending is more than 7.5 percent of your income, you can deduct it.

Keep careful track of your out-of-pocket medical expenses throughout the year so you can make the proper deductions at tax time.

You can pay your Medicare bills online or by mail if they arent automatically deducted. You wont pay an added fee for parts A, B, or D, based on your payment method.

There are several ways to pay:

What Does Medicare Cover

Medicare helps pay for certain health care services and durable medical equipment. To have full Medicare coverage, Medicare beneficiaries must have Part A and Part B .

The following is a partial list of Medicare-covered services. The covered services listed below may require payment of deductibles and Co-Payments.

If you have questions about covered services, call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance

With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.

If youre eligible at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.

Note: Important Upcoming Change Rules for 2023 and later: If you accept the automatic enrollment in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month youre first eligible. Beginning January 1, 2023, if you sign up during the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your IEP, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.

The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2022:

In 2022, if you sign up during this month of your IEP Your Part B Medicare coverage starts
One to three months before you reach age 65 The month you turn age 65.
The month you reach age 65 One month after the month you turn age 65.
One month after you reach age 65 Two months after the month of enrollment.
Two or three months after you reach age 65 Three months after the month of enrollment.

The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2023:

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Why Renew Your Public Services Card

The Public Services Card assists you in accessing a range of public services in an easy and safe manner. If you are a Free Travel customer, an in date Public Services Card is required for you to use this service.

To ensure no interruption in services you are advised to renew your Public Services Card before it expires.

What Is A Calendar Quarter

The Medicare Resource Center : Total Financial Governance

The Social Security Administration divides a calendar year into 4 quarters. A calendar quarter refers to a 3-month period, which ends at one of the following calendar dates:

The SSA keeps track of each 3-month quarter a person works and pays their social security and Medicare taxes. Each quarter contributes to a persons eligibility for Medicare Part A.

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Enrolling In Medicare Coverage After Receiving Social Security Benefits

If you began receiving Social Security benefits at least 4 months before turning 65, Medicare enrollment occurs automatically during your Initial Enrollment Period , which lasts for 7 months. It begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after your birth month. So, if you turn 65 on May 12, your IEP begins February 1 and ends on August 31. Move those dates forward one month if your birthday falls on the first .

Around the time that your Initial Enrollment Period begins, you should receive a package in the mail containing your Medicare card and other details about enrollment. This includes information on how to reject Medicare coverage. Be aware that in some cases, doing so may result in a late enrollment penalty.

The IEP is still important to remember, even if you’re automatically enrolled, because this is also your opportunity to sign up for a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap plan.

A Note On The Railroad Retirement Board

The Railroad Retirement Board is a government agency that provides benefits to retired railroad workers. Although it is distinct from Social Security, the RRB can also play into many of the Medicareeligibility requirements.

In most cases, when a Medicare guideline is contingent on receiving Social Security benefits, it is more accurate to say that it depends on Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

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What To Do: Do The Math Before Retiring

As youre approaching retirement, check your earnings statement first to make sure you have enough credits to qualify for Social Security. If you dont already have 35 years of earnings, consider whether working an additional year or two could help boost your Social Security benefits.

For example, if you worked a first career where you werent covered by Social Security, working for an extra year or two might ensure you qualify for Social Security benefits or boost your monthly benefit amount.

Medicare Faqs And Information To Consider

What is my Social Security?

Automatic Enrollment:

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Federal Retiree benefits, your enrollment in Medicare is automatic. Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail shortly before your 65th birthday. Check the card when you receive it to verify that you are entitled to both Medicare Parts A and B.

Initial Enrollment Period:

If you are not eligible for Automatic Enrollment, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or enroll online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or visit the nearest Social Security office to enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You have a seven month window in which to enroll in Medicare without incurring a penalty. If youre not automatically enrolled in premium-free Part A, you can sign up for it once your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your Part A coverage will start six months back from the date you apply for Medicare, but no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare. However, you can only sign up for Part B during the times listed below.

General Enrollment Period:

  • General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A & B

If you have coverage through a current employer, you are not required to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Below are some things to keep in mind about each part of Medicare.

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Enrolling In Medicare With A Disability

Just like when you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, when you are eligible with disability, you have an Initial Enrollment Period of 7 months.

Your Initial Enrollment Period will begin after you have received either disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the Rail Road Retirement Board for 24 months.1 In other words, your IEP starts on the 25th month of disability benefits.

You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, but if you decide you want to get a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan, you will need to enroll yourself directly with the private plan provider. You will need to enroll during your IEP to avoid late enrollment penalties.

NOTE: If you become eligible for Medicare because of ALS or ESRD, your situation is different. See the below special sections for eligibility and enrollment for ALS and ESRD.

What Are My Rights As A Medicare Beneficiary

As a Medicare beneficiary, you have certain guaranteed rights. These rights protect you when you get health care, they assure you access to needed health care services, and protect you against unethical practices.

You have these rights whether you are in Original Medicare or another Medicare health plan.

Your rights include, but are not limited to:

The Right to Receive Emergency Care

If you have severe pain, an injury, or a sudden illness that you believe may cause your health serious danger without immediate care, you have the right to receive emergency care. You never need prior approval for emergency care, and you may receive emergency care anywhere in the United States.

The Right to Appeal Decisions About Payments or Services for Medical Care

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you have the right to appeal denial of a payment for a service you have been provided. If you are enrolled in another Medicare health plan, you have the right to appeal the planâs denial for a service to be provided.

The Right to Information About All Treatment Options

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Medicare Special Enrollment Period

You may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible because you are already covered by group medical insurance through an employer or union. If you lose your group insurance, or if you decide you want to switch from your group coverage to Medicare, you can sign up at any time that you are still covered by the group plan or during a Special Enrollment Period.

Your eight-month special enrollment period begins either the month that your employment ends or when your group health coverage ends, whichever occurs first. If you enroll during an SEP, you generally do not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

The Special Enrollment Period does not apply if youre eligible for Medicare because you have ESRD. Please also keep in mind that COBRA and retiree health coverage are not considered current employer coverage and would not qualify you for a special enrollment period.

How To Sign Up For Medicare Advantage: When Can I Enroll

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Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is another way to receive Original Medicare benefits and is offered through private insurance companies that have contracts with Medicare. At minimum, all Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. You must have Original Medicare, Part A and B, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurer.

You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during two enrollment periods, the Initial Coverage Election Period and Annual Election Period.

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Why Would I Opt Out Of Medicare

Part B comes with a premium in most cases. Some people delay enrollment in Medicare Part B to avoid paying the premium especially if they have other coverage. The same can be true of Part A, for people that must pay a premium for it.

If you delay enrollment in Part B or Part A, make sure you plan it well to avoid problems. For example:

  • Group health plans may have different coverage rules if youre eligible for Medicare coverage. Check with your plan and ask how it would work with and without Medicare.
  • You might face a late enrollment penalty if you delay Part B and/or Part A coverage. To avoid a penalty, make sure you enroll in Medicare promptly when your employment ends, or when the group health coverage ends. After the month coverage or employment ends , you might have an 8-month Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare without a penalty. Ask your benefits administrator, or contact Medicare.

Remember The Initial Enrollment Period

It is important to remember that you will still have an Initial Enrollment Period in this situation. It is the same 7-month period that surrounds your 65th birthday.

Unless you have creditable health insurance elsewhere, your IEP is the best time to sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B . This is also when you may join a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan. If you choose to stay with Original Medicare plus Part D, you may also apply for a Medigap policy during your IEP.

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Can I Get Medicare Coverage If I Dont Sign Up For Social Security At 65

Who is this for?

If youre not planning on signing up for Social Security right away, you can still enroll in Medicare. Learn how here.

These days, people are retiring later in life than their parents did. If youre still working, you might not want to start collecting Social Security benefits right when you turn 65.

But you can enroll in Medicare at 65 even if youre not getting Social Security. In some cases, signing up for Medicare as soon as youre eligible is better than waiting.

Heres why:

  • Medicare might have better coverage than your health insurance plan through work.
  • If you dont have a comparable health insurance plan and you wait to sign up for Medicare, your Medicare premiums will be higher when you do sign up.

When Other Insurance Plans Cost Less Than Medicare

How much your Social Security benefits will be if you make $30,000, $35,000 or $40,000

You may find that other insurance options are less expensive for you than Medicare.

Obamacare plans are an appealing but you are not allowed to have any part of Medicare while on an Obamacare plan. You could sign up for health coverage through your spouseâs health plan if that option is available. Better still, you may be eligible for health care based on your military experience, whether through the VA or TRICARE.

In these cases, you may be tempted to decline Medicare in favor of another insurance. After all, no one wants to pay two premiums if they donât have to. However, you need to understand that declining Medicare can have serious repercussions.

It is unclear at this time how an Obamacare repeal will affect insurance access. This will depend on what kind of replacement plan the Trump administration puts forward.

You can qualify for SSI if you:

  • are legally blind
  • have a disability

As with all Social Security benefits, youll also need to be a United States citizen or legal resident and have limited income and resources. However, to apply for SSI, you dont need work credits.

You can receive SSI in addition to SSDI or retirement benefits, but it can also be a standalone payment. The amount you receive in SSI will depend on your income from other sources.

Social Security Disability Insurance is a type of Social Security benefit for those with disabilities or health conditions that prevent them from working.

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What Are Cases When Medicare Automatically Starts

Medicare will automatically start when you turn 65 if youve received Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday.

Youll automatically be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if you get benefit checks. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 30% of seniors claim Social Security benefits early.1 For those seniors, Medicare Part A and Part B will automatically start when they reach the age of 65.

When do You Get Your Medicare Card?

You can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your birthday. Your Medicare card will come with a complete enrollment package that includes basic information about your coverage. Your card wont be usable until you turn 65, even though youll receive the card before that time.

What Are Your Costs?

Keep in mind that youll still have to pay the usual costs of Medicare, even though youre automatically enrolled. Once your Medicare is active, the cost of your Part B premium will be deducted from your Social Security or RRB benefits.

What If You Already Enrolled in Medicare?

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What If I Switch to Medicare Advantage?

And if you want to switch to Medicare Advantage , youll have a one-time Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 and lasts for 7 months.

What I Have Part A?

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Protect Yourself Going Forward

Once youve followed all the steps to get your replacement Social Security card, its wise to take action to protect yourself. You may have received a new physical card, but your Social Security number will remain unchanged, and anyone who comes into possession of your old card can use it to commit fraud. This may mean staying diligent about whats on your credit report for years to come.

The good news is theres a lot you can do to prevent your Social Security card from being used nefariously. In addition to taking steps to protect your identity, make sure your new card is stored safely and securely and only leaves your home or safety deposit box when absolutely necessary. Losing possession of your Social Security card can be a nerve-wracking experience, but youve got tools at your disposal to make sure its replaced quickly and your identity is protected for years to come.

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