Social Security Administration, Washington, DC
Medicare is health insurance for people receiving Social Security who are age 65 or older, or those who have received Social Security disability benefits for more than two years. Since understanding Medicare can save you money, here are a few facts.
Medicare parts A and B:
- 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 was 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 premium for Part B.
Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and there is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2017, the premium for most people is $134.00. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There also is a Medicare Part B deductible of $183 per year in 2017.
You can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. You can sign up for Medicare Part B without paying higher premiums:
- In any month you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member; or
- Within eight months after your employment or group health plan coverage ends, whichever comes first
If you are disabled and working (or you have coverage from a working family member), the same rules apply.
Last updated: May 3, 2017