7 Social Security and Medicare Quirks That Trip Up Advisors

1. Social Security and Medicare choices interact in important ways.

One common area of confusion among clients and advisors is the link between Medicare and Social Security, Mantell said.

To be clear, Social Security and Medicare are distinct programs serving older Americans, but they have an important commonality. That is, the Social Security Administration handles enrollment for Medicare Parts A and B.

For most people, Medicare eligibility starts at age 65, Mantell explained. If a client is receiving Social Security retirement benefits at that time, the SSA will send them a Medicare enrollment package at the start of their initial enrollment period, which begins three months before the month they turn 65.

If a client has not yet filed for Social Security benefits, however, they will need to apply for Medicare directly on their own. A client can do so any time during the initial enrollment period, Mantell said.

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