Social Security and Medicare Are Lasting Sources of Independence

July 3, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 15, 2021

In July, 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 lifestyle.

Medicare can be a little confusing to newcomers so we’ve broken it down into segments. 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 our Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs page.

Will you be age 65 soon? Even if you decide not to retire, you should apply for Medicare. You can apply in less than 10 minutes using our online Medicare application. Visit Medicare Benefits page to learn more about applying for Medicare.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Joyce

    My mother is on Medicare and has BCBS Advantage Supplemental insurance that includes prescription drug coverage. Does she need Medicare Part D?

  2. Investment B.

    hi there I really like the blog you have set up here. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  3. stanley c.

    i am on medicare and tricare…my wife recently visit a local hospital for some routine check ups…nothingvrequiring serious testing….she was with a doctor for 45 minutes and all was ok….well here is the KICKER…i received a statement for $1,543.00 but after deduction from tricare i needed to pay $164.00…no mention of medicare deductions….it appears that the doctor is scamming tricare out of $1,321.95 for 45 minutes of routine services…the call the servives as 13MLEVEL 3 ED W/O PROCEDURES….what ever that is i dont know….there wereno… tests involved in my wifes checkup…please email me rightaway as i have already protested thes charges….thank you

  4. Rodrigo M.

    I’m turning 65yo Jan next year and already receiving social security benefits since age 62. I’m retired military and my DOD ID card expires on Dec 31 this year. I understand to be qualified for Tricare for Life, I need to have Medicare B. When do I apply for Medicare B? Thanks

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Rodrigo. You’re right, current law requires TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A to enroll in Medicare Part B to retain their TRICARE benefits. If you are already getting Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. Please visit the TRICARE web page or contact your military health benefits advisor for more information. You can visit your nearest military installation for assistance in renewing your military ID card. We hope this information helps.

  5. 24 i.

    Te pup Antonio, ce faci? kiss kiss, acum doua nopti am visat urat si m-am speriat… visat ca am primit o vizita chiar in casa mea in hol si bucatarie… miscau lent si erau foarte curiosi si foarte pasnici….se vedea si se simtea ca ma iubeau….erau pasari mari pana la umarul meu….si le dadeam in holul meu de la intrare bucatele de paine din mana mea…si una dintre ele mi-a luat-o direct din mana si nu a mai avut rabdare sa i-o dau eu….si in bucatarie le-am dat din nou…dar de data asta pasarile se transformasera in doua pisici mari care miscau lent….si, cand le-am dat painea pe jos, PAINEA SE MULTIPLICASE IN MAI MULTE CAPETE DE PISICI LA AMBELE PISICI UNA DESCHISA UNA MAI INCHISA, adica aveam doua grupuri de capete de pisici pe jos care trebuia sa fie painea de fapt + cele doua pisici care inca se miscau lent dupa ce le-am dat painea pe jos in bucatarie, si, m-am trezit in miezul noptii pentru ca m-am speriat.


  6. Jaime

    This web site is really a walk-by means of for all of the data you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll positively uncover it.*+Project+Management+Consulting

  7. lesly f.

    Hello, Mr jim i think you need to know summer Ice Cream mean We The People!!!

  8. John

    If they have to eliminate anything than let it be Medicaid because we paid in to have both social security and Medicare.

    • connie c.

      So let the others suffer. how nice.

  9. Hospitals &.

    Graduation of the Health Department HA-9-7-17

    A Health Department or Public Health Department (PHD) and Department of Human Services (DHS) need to graduate from the Department of Education Re-organization Act of May 4, 1980 under 20USC§3508. The foundation of the public health service is typically attributed to July 16, 1798, when President John Adams signed a bill into law that created what we now know as the U.S. Public Health Service by establishing the U.S. Marine Hospital Service, predecessor to today’s U.S. Public Health Service, to provide health care to sick and injured merchant seamen at naval hospitals under 24USC§14. Medical bills cause an estimated 67% of bankruptcies today, up from 8% in 1980 and it is necessary to nullify and repeal ‘Medical records and payments’ from the Fair Credit Reporting Act under 15USC§1681a(x)(1) like legal bills in 2009; student loans never sent a bill without murder tampering under 18USC§1512. The President’s Budget FY 18 request for HHS proposes $69 billion in discretionary budget authority and $1,046 billion in mandatory funding, that comes to $1,115 billion FY 18. The budget-in-brief requests $1,113 billion to comply with CR 17 budget authority, but demands a total of $1,131 billion FY 18 when outlays are added, $18 billion, 1.6% more than CR 17. Graduating HS FY 18 with a 4% growth potential average, would keep federal public health expenditure estimates <$1 trillion for a few years of health budgeting to limit national health expenditure to $161,538 a year under 39USC§3686(d) and profits of subsidized health care and insurance corporations >10% that may be considered overpayments under 26USC§6401.

  10. Jahirupa

    Thanks for your article.

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