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- Medicare is available to people over 65, with specific disabilities and chronic diseases
- Social security also offers survivor’s benefits to spouses and children
- You must be a permanent resident of the USA to receive Medicare
Medicare will not pay for life insurance. Medicare is a government-funded health insurance program that only covers medical-related expenses. It does not pay out benefits for loss of life, nor does it cover the cost of life insurance premiums.
It is available to anyone over the age of 65, people with certain disabilities, and anyone with end-stage renal disease.
While Medicare is a government-funded program managed by the Social Security Administration, it should not be confused with the death benefit.
Social Security does provide a payout to eligible survivors as well as a one-time benefit to help cover funeral costs. These are two very different programs.
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What is the Social Security Administration?
Social Security is the nation’s largest publicly funded program. It consists of two parts: Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI).
Every year that you work, you pay into social security and earn credits. The more credits you earn the more benefits you are eligible for later. The money you pay in goes into U.S. Treasury securities.
These funds are used to payout benefits. This is not setup in individual trusts, but just one trust fund use to pay for all benefits.
Social Security pays monthly benefits to retired workers as well as people who are disabled and no longer able to work. In addition to this, the funds are used to pay for Medicare coverage and survivor benefits to qualified people.
What are Social Security’s survivor benefits?
Social Security survivor benefits include a monthly benefit as well as a onetime benefit. You must have enough credits to qualify for this benefit. The older you are, the more credits you will need.
The one-time benefit will be paid to a surviving spouse who lived with the deceased. If there is no spouse, the benefit can be paid to an eligible child. In 2010, the benefit was $255.
Unlike the one-time benefit, monthly survivor benefits are paid to eligible family members based on your total earnings. The more you have earned over your lifetime, the more that is paid out.
To be eligible to receive these payments, you must be the spouse caring for the deceased’s children who are still under the age of 16. You can also be eligible if you are over the age of 60 or 50 if you are disabled.
Other people who may qualify are unmarried children under the age of 18, dependent parents over the age of 62 and children that were disabled before the age of 22.
To apply for these benefits, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.
You will need to present a death certificate and proof of your qualification status. Benefits are based on a percentage of the benefits earned.
If you are a widow/widower over the age of 65, you can receive 100 percent of the benefit. Between the ages of 60 to 64 you will receive 71-94 percent.
If you are a widow with children under the age of 16, you are eligible for 75 percent and the children will receive 75 percent as well.
What does Medicare cover?
Medicare can be very confusing to the average person. There are four parts and each one covers different items. They also have their own eligibility requirements.
Part A covers:
- Inpatient hospital stays
- Nursing facilities
- Home health care
If you are a permanent resident of the United States and you qualify for Medicare, you will automatically receive part A. it is important to understand that not all stays will be covered you must be admitted for inpatient care not outpatient.
Part B covers:
- Outpatient care
- Home health services
- Some preventive care
Part C is where things start to getting confusing. It is also called the Medicare Advantage Plan. With this plan, you get Parts A and B as well as:
- Wellness programs
It may also include Part D prescription coverage.
With Part C, you will choose an Advantage Plan available in your area that best suits your needs. Medicare pays a set amount to this company for your care.
While there are set rules these companies must follow, they can charge out-of-pocket expenses and have unique guidelines for how you receive care. These rules can also change every year so you will need to check your coverage often.
In addition to your Part B premium, you will also have to pay a monthly premium for Part C.
You will want to research all the Advantage Plans available to you because the premiums can be different as wells as the covered services.
Part D is prescription drug coverage. Either you will have to choose a Part C plan that includes prescriptions or you can purchase a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
This plan would supplement your A and B plans. You will pay a monthly premium and you will have limited coverage. After you use all your available prescription drug benefits, you can still receive a discounted price on most drugs.
These are only basic descriptions of Medicare coverage and should not be used solely to make decisions on the coverage you may need.
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