Medicare and Social Security can sometimes be confusing to understand, but they are vitally important programs to many seniors. The Adult and Senior Services Division of the Village of Key Biscayne Community Center will be hosting several upcoming Q&A sessions for seniors regarding Medicare and Social Security.
Understanding Medicare and Social Security
Both Social Security and Medicare can be complex and it’s important to understand each of these programs in order to receive maximum benefits.
Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the federal government and is available for:
- People age 65 or older
- People under age 65 with certain disabilities
- People of all ages with end-stage renal disease (e.g., permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)
Through Medicare, seniors can get help paying for medical care, by physicians in private practices as well as at the hospital, coverage for prescription drugs, and outpatient care, such as home health aids.
Social Security, however, provides seniors with retirement benefits or disability benefits. When you work, you pay taxes into Social Security, which can then be used to:
- People who already have retired;
- People who are disabled;
- Survivors of workers who have died; and
- Dependents of beneficiaries.
As long as you have worked for at least 10 (for those born in 1929 or later), you are eligible for Social Security. However, you cannot start receiving payouts until after you turn 62.
A few aspects of these programs that can affect benefits include which divisions of each of the programs you specifically apply for, the best age to apply, and when it’s to your advantage to collect benefits early.
It’s imperative that seniors understand that there are specific election periods for signing up for Medicare and that there are even penalties for not signing up for specific benefits once an individual has ended his or her employment. If you would find yourself divorced or if a spouse dies, knowing how your benefits could change is crucial to making sure you still receive the maximum amount of benefits possible. Getting accurate information regarding these programs is important to making the best choices for a productive retirement.
If you have questions about Medicare and/or Social Security, you can get the answers at one of the Q&A sessions. There will be four sessions offered. The first session is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 30. Additional sessions are scheduled for Oct. 28, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.
All sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on second floor of the Biscayne Community Center, located at 10 Village Green Way. There will be a bilingual representative from the Social Security Administration that can assist with questions regarding Social Security and Medicare.
For more information, contact the Key Biscayne Community Center or call the Community Center front desk at 305-365-8900. No appointment is necessary to attend the sessions.