SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE: Navigating complex Social Security & Medicare rules to maximize benefits.
Social Security and Medicare are government-run programs vital to millions of Americans’ financial security and well-being. While both programs provide important benefits, the rules and regulations governing them can be complex and confusing. Navigating these rules to maximize your benefits can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to do so to ensure that you’re getting the most out of these programs.
At Sherwood Investments, by understanding the complexities of Social Security and Medicare, Eric J. Linger helps you navigate these systems to maximize your benefits. With the knowledge and experience necessary to help you understand the rules and regulations governing these programs, he’ll help you make informed decisions about your benefits.
Social Security: Understanding the Basics
Social Security is a federal program that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible individuals. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for several years. Your benefit amount is based on your earnings history, and you can begin receiving benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70.
While the basic rules of Social Security are straightforward, many factors can affect your benefits. For example, if you continue to work while receiving Social Security benefits, your benefit may be reduced. Additionally, specific rules governing spousal and survivor benefits can be complex if you’re married or divorced.
At Sherwood Investments, Eric can help you understand the rules governing Social Security benefits and help you make informed decisions about when to begin receiving benefits. By carefully considering your unique circumstances, he can help you maximize your benefits and ensure you receive the total amount of benefits you’re entitled to.
How Social Security Works and Why You Should Care
Social Security pays monthly benefits to eligible beneficiaries based on their work history and earnings records. Social Security is more than just a retirement program. It also protects you and your family if you cannot work due to a disability or die and leave behind a spouse or children who depend on your income.
Social Security is not going bankrupt or running out of money. According to the latest trustee’s report, the trust funds have enough reserves to pay full benefits until 2035. Even after that, Social Security can still pay about 79% of scheduled benefits from ongoing tax revenue. However, some changes are needed to ensure the long-term solvency and adequacy of the program for future generations.
Social Security is not a personal savings account you can access anytime.
You have to meet specific eligibility criteria to receive benefits from Social Security. For example, you need at least 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for retirement benefits, and you have to be at least 62 years old (or older, depending on your birth year) to start receiving them. You must also apply for benefits when you want them; they are optional.
Social Security is a valuable source of income for most Americans in retirement, but it should not be your only one. Social Security replaces about 40% of the average worker’s pre-retirement income, but most financial expertshttps://sherwood-investments.com/financial-planning/ recommend that you aim for at least 70% to maintain your standard of living in retirement. That means you need other sources of income besides Social Security, such as pensions, savings, investments, or part-time work.
Social Security is a complex program affecting millions of people differently. Understanding how it works and why you should care about it is important. You can learn more about Social Security by visiting its official website (www.ssa.gov), creating my Social Security account (www.ssa.gov/myac
Medicare: Navigating the Complexities
Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to Americans over the age of 65 and individuals with specific disabilities or chronic conditions. While Medicare provides significant benefits, the program’s rules can be complex and confusing.
For example, Medicare is divided into several parts, including Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Each part has its rules and regulations, and it can be challenging to understand which parts of the program you’re eligible for and how they work together.
At Sherwood Investments, Eric J. Linger can help you navigate the complexities of Social Security and Medicare while helping you understand which parts of the program you’re eligible for. Whether you’re looking for prescription drug coverage or you need help understanding the rules governing hospital stays, he’s here to help.
What is Medicare
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers millions of Americans who are 65 or older, have certain disabilities, or have end-stage renal disease. Medicare has four parts: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).
There are many benefits and costs of each part of Medicare, and how to enroll or change your plan, for example:
- Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care services. Most people do not pay a monthly premium for Part A if they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. However, there are deductibles and coinsurance costs that you may have to pay when you use Part A services.
- Part B covers outpatient medical services such as doctor visits, preventive care, lab tests, x-rays, mental health services, durable medical equipment, and some home health care services. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B based on their income. The standard premium for 2022 is $170.10 per month. There are also deductibles and coinsurance costs that you may have to pay when you use Part B services.
- Part C or Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare to provide all the benefits of Part A and Part B. Some plans may also offer extra benefits such as vision, dental, hearing, wellness programs, or prescription drug coverage. You must have both Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage plan. You will pay a monthly premium for your plan in addition to your Part B premium. The premium amount varies depending on the plan you choose.
- Part D covers prescription drugs that you get at a pharmacy or through mail order. You can get Part D coverage either through a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) or through a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage (MA-PD). You must have either Part A or Part B to join a PDP or MA-PD plan. You will pay a monthly premium for your plan in addition to your Part B premium if you have one. The premium amount varies depending on the plan you choose.
Enrolling in Medicare
To enroll in Medicare for the first time when you turn 65 or become eligible due to disability or end-stage renal disease, you can apply online at www.ssa.gov/medicare , call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or visit your local Social Security office.
Changing Medicare Coverage
To change your Medicare coverage during certain times of the year such as open enrollment periods or special enrollment periods , you can use the online tools at www.medicare.gov , call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048), or contact your current plan.
Maximizing Your Social Security & Medicare Benefits
Social Security and Medicare are two essential programs that provide vital benefits to millions of Americans. However, the rules and regulations governing these programs can be complex and confusing. At Sherwood Investments, Eric helps you navigate these complexities and maximize your benefits.
Whether its estate planning, investment services or want to know more about social security and Medicare feel free to reach out to Eric J. Linger today at Sherwood Investments for further details, queries, and support!
Please contact us if you want to simplify and improve your life.