The relationship between Social Security and Medicare can be confusing. Fortunately, if you work for select organizations in California, including a municipality, you gain health coverage under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). CalPERS provides a wealth of information regarding Social Security and Medicare to help you determine the benefits you’ll receive and what other steps you should take to ensure your needs are filled.
Importance of Social Security
Social Security provides monthly benefits to retirees, people with disabilities and those who lost their spouses. Many people use Social Security income along with other retirement income sources to support themselves when they decide to stop their employment. Social Security works with Medicare to inform people of the health insurance program, sign them up, process their applications and collect premiums.
Importance of Medicare
Medicare is for individuals age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities or individuals with end-stage renal failure. Each of Medicare’s four parts covers specific services: Part A hospital insurance, Part B medical insurance, Part C Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drugs. Because you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and get it at no cost, having the health plan helps reduce medical care costs. Limiting your spending when you decide to stop working and live on a fixed income helps your retirement savings last longer.
CalPERS and Social Security
CalPERS is the Social Security Administrator for the State of California’s Section 218 Agreement. As the liaison between the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service to address Section 218 coverage issues, CalPERS assists with services such as determining mandatory Social Security and Medicare coverage, providing educational events on how members’ Social Security benefits are affected by the CalPERS pension, and offering guidance for resolving employment tax compliance issues.
CalPERS and Medicare
As a CalPERS member, you will receive notification of the requirements to continue your health coverage a few months before you turn 65. You must contact the Social Security Administration to see if you qualify for Medicare Part A at no cost. If you qualify, you also must enroll in Medicare Part B once you’re eligible. When enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, CalPERS transfers you from a CalPERS Basic health plan to a CalPERS Medicare health plan. If you’re ineligible for Medicare Part A at no cost, or if you decline enrollment in Medicare Part B due to your working status and coverage under an employer group health plan, you must complete a CalPERS-provided certification form and submit it with supporting documentation before your 65th birth month to continue your CalPERS health coverage.
Work for a Municipality Covered by CalPERS
When you secure a municipal job through MuniTemps, you gain access to Social Security and Medicare benefits through CalPERS. Having an advocate on your side helps you understand exactly what benefits you’ll receive and when, providing assistance for adequate retirement planning. Find out more by calling us today!