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April is National Social Security Month

| Joan Morales

In light of April being “National Social Security Month”, AFA has hosted several Webinars this month on Social Security retirement benefits.  For those who were able to join us, we hope you found the information discussed useful in your retirement and Social Security benefit planning.

 

For over 80 years, Social Security has worked to meet the changing needs of beneficiaries.  You can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits using Social Security online services.  There are other services that can be completed online such as, request a replacement SocialSecurity card, change your address, and download a Social SecurityStatement.  Imagine, no need to visit a field office!

 

We encourage our pilot-clients to create a “my Social Security” account if not done so already.  Once you create an account, you’ll see what you can do online in addition to using some of the Social Security tools provided.

 

Your retirement benefits are based on Social Security’s record of your lifetime earnings!  It is important that you check your work history to ensure it matches your lifetime earnings.  If you find an error notifySocial Security right away.  If their records are incorrect, you may not receive all the benefits to which you’re entitled.

 

You, your employer and Social Security share responsibility for the accuracy of your earnings record.  From the day you started to work, SS recorded your reported earnings under your name and Social Security number.  Review your SS Statement carefully using your own records to make sure they have accurately recorded your earnings each year you worked.

 

Sometimes it’s confusing to know who to contact and for what.  Social Security and Medicare offer different services but some may be related. 

 

You should contact Social Security to see if you’re eligible for Medicare, sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, report a death or request a review of your Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA).  If you have an online my Social Security account, you are allowed to request a replacement Medicare card and report a change of address, name or contact information. 

 

Having access to your online benefit information allows you to make knowledgeable decisions about your financial future.

 

Medicare, a separate program run by the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS), helps pay for inpatient hospital care, doctors’ fees, drugs, and other medical services to people age 65 and older, people with end stage renal disease, or beneficiaries receiving SS disability benefits for two years or more.

 

You can check what services Medicare covers by logging onto www.medicare.gov. The website provides information about Medicare health and prescription drug plans, forms and publications.  You can find Medicare Supplement Plans, doctors and suppliers who participate in Medicare and compare the quality of care provided by plans, nursing homes, hospitals and much more.

 

We very much appreciate the trust you are placing in our entire AFA financial planning team.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about Medicare, Social Security benefits or your Retirement investment portfolio.

 

 

Medicare – Part B

 

Why delay Part B?

 

If you plan on working beyond age 65 or you have a spouse who becomes eligible for Medicare before you retire from AA, we recommend signing up for Part A during the initial enrollment period and postpone Part B. Doing so has no downside because Part A requires no monthly premiums for most beneficiaries.

 

As long as you’re covered beyond age 65 by group health insurance provided by an employer for whom you or your spouse still actively work and that employer has 20 or more employees, you can delay Part B enrollment until the current health coverage terminates.  You will be entitled to a special enrollment period to sign up for Part B, without penalty. 

 

So how do I postpone Part B?  

 

If you’ll be getting benefits from Social Security or theRailroad Retirement Board (RRB) at least 4 months before you turn 65, you'll automatically get Part A and Part B.

 

You'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3months before your 65th birthday.  If you don't want Part B, follow the instructions that came with the card.  If you keep the card, you keep PartB and will pay Part B premiums. 

If you are not getting benefits from Social Security or theRailroad Retirement Board (RRB) and eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time after you’re first eligible for Medicare. your part A coverage will go back (retroactively) 6 months from when you sign up(but no earlier than the first month you're eligible for Medicare).  The easiest way to enroll for Part A is by logging on to www.medicare.gov.

Connect with Joannie Morales, Manager of Pilot Services at jmorales@afadvisors.com

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