Social Security and Medicare: Facts and Figures
By Robby Stern, adapted from the Alliance for Retired Americans
Nearly 168 million workers contribute to Social Security through payroll taxes. Nearly 59 million people receive monthly benefits including:
- 41.9 million – retirement benefits
- 6.1 million – survivors’ benefits
- 10.9 million – disability benefits
Average 2015 monthly Social Security Benefit:
- A retired worker – $1306
- A retired couple – $2140
- Disabled worker – $1146
- Widow or widower – $1253
- Young widow or widower with two children – $2635
- Maximum monthly Social Security Benefit – $2663 (worker at full retirement age)
Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment for 2015 – 1.7%
Cap in 2015 – $118,500. Workers and employers each pay 6.2% up to when the worker reaches the cap.
Medicare contribution – 1.45% for worker and employer
2015 Social Security Eligibility :
- Full retirement – age 66
- Early retirement – age 62 (Early retirement can reduce Soc. Sec. benefits up to 30%.)
Applying for Social Security: You should apply for Social Security three months before the date you want your benefits to start. You can apply by:
- Visiting your local Social Security office.
- Calling Social Security at 1-800-772- 1213. If deaf or hard of hearing, you can call Social Security at TTY 1-800-325- 0778.
- Go online: https://secure.ssa.gov/ iClaim/rib
Nearly 168 million workers contribute to Medicare through the payroll tax. Approximately 53.6 million receive Medicare benefits including:
- 44.6 million individuals 65 and older
- 8.9 million disabled people 2015 Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage)
- Deductible – $1260 (first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care).
- Coinsurance – $0 (Days 1 – 60), $315 per day (Days 61 – 90)
2015 Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Monthly Premium: Varies by plan (higher income consumers may pay more).
- Deductible: Varies by plan, $320 maximum.
- Doughnut Hole: $2960 – $6680. Beneficiaries in the doughnut hole pay 47.5% of their plan’s costs for covered brand name drugs and 72% of the price for generics.
- Cap on out-of-pocket costs: $4700 (prior to catastrophic and excluding premium for plan).
Applying for Medicare
Generally, Medicare is available for people 65 and older, younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage Renal Disease. If you already receive Social Security, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, provided you are 65. To apply for Medicare, you can call 1-800-772- 1213 or visit their website, http://www. socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly. Thanks to the Alliance for Retired Americans for providing this helpful information!