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Medicare and Medicaid sound alike, and we know that causes some confusion: but the truth is that while these government programs provide basic healthcare benefits, they are dramatically different from one another. So let us break it down for you:
Can I file for Medicare without Social Security?
This is a common question we receive in our call center and on our social media accounts and it is a great question.
Social Security and Medicare are separate decisions, and you do not need to sign up for both programs at the same time. The Social Security full retirement age is 66, however the Medicare eligibility age is 65.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing a fraud prevenion effort that will remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help safeguard against identity theft. In place of your Social Security number, cards will be issued unique, randomly assigned numbers called Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). CMS will begin mailing these new cards in April of 2018 and they expect to meet the congressional deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019.
Married couples have more options when it comes to maximizing Social Security income payments and overall benefits than single people do. Those who are divorced may even have the option of collecting spousal benefits. However if you are single and have never been married it is important that you learn your social security filing options.
Social Security is making the move to help improve online security of personal accounts. Your personal account at ssa.gov can be used to do things such as check benefits and manage direct deposits to bank accounts.
There are really 5 different Medicare Part B levels of payment for people of different incomes. However, it is not just income that might impact Part B premiums: social security could also raise premiums for some higher income beneficiaries.