Q:

What is the difference between Medicare and Social Security benefits?

A:

Quick Answer

Medicare is a health insurance program primarily for people who are at least 65 years old. Social Security is a monetary payment for those over a certain age or with a disability.

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What is the difference between Medicare and Social Security benefits?
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Full Answer

There are four programs under Medicare, including insurance for hospital coverage, doctor visits, prescription coverage and an exchange for private insurance coverage. Social Security has three programs. The most common program pays workers who are at least 62 years old a certain amount for retirement, calculated on wages over a 10-year period. A second program supplies benefits to the spouse or minor children of a deceased recipient. Social Security also provides disability payments to workers who pay into the Social Security system, along with some benefits for minor children.

Funding for Medicare comes from payroll taxes and the general fund, the primary Congressional budgetary mechanism, while Social Security receives funding through the Social Security tax. Revenues from the Social Security tax go into a separate trust. Medicare funding goes into the Hospital Insurance Trust and the Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust. Both programs operate under separate bureaucratic structures, the Social Security Administration and Medicare and Medicaid Services. Regardless of age, people who have qualifying disabilities or End-Stage Renal Disease are also eligible for Medicare.

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