Your Social Security – Lasting Sources of Independence

Your Social Security – Lasting Sources of Independence

Photo of Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

Every July, communities across America celebrate our nation’s independence with fireworks, family and friends, just as we did a few days ago. 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. Medicare has been doing the same for over five decades. Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. For many older Americans, it is their primary health insurance; 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 do not 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.

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