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Social Security and Medicare: Home

Social Security Benefits

Social Security is an insurance program. Workers pay into the program, typically through payroll withholding where they work. Workers who have paid into the Social Security system for at least 10 years become eligible for early retirement benefits at age 62. However, they will receive a higher monthly benefit if they wait until their "full retirement age" (67 for anyone born in 1960 or later, for example) and an even higher one if they wait as late as age 70, at which point their benefit maxes out. Workers can get a projection of their benefits at different retirement ages using the Retirement Estimator on the SSA website.


Medicare is a U.S. federal government health insurance program that subsidizes health care services.  

  • Medicare is divided into four categories: Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C or Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D for prescriptions.
  • Medicare Part A premiums are free for those who made Medicare contributions for 10 or more years through their payroll taxes.
  • Patients are responsible to pay premiums for other parts of the Medicare program.