Is Medicare Account the Same as Social Security Account?

Many people nearing age 65 wonder if your Medicare account is the same thing as your Social Security account. The short answer is no – they are separate accounts.

While Social Security and Medicare are closely related programs, they have distinct purposes, management and online accounts.

This article will explain the key differences between your Social Security and Medicare accounts, including:

  • What is the purpose of each program?
  • Who manages Social Security vs. Medicare?
  • How to create online accounts with Social Security and Medicare
  • What you can do in the Social Security and Medicare online accounts
  • How Social Security and Medicare accounts are linked

What is the Purpose of Social Security and Medicare?

First, let’s overview the purpose and coverage of each federal program.

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a federal benefits program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides:

  • Retirement benefits – Monthly income for eligible retirees and spouses.
  • Disability benefits – Income for people unable to work due to disability.
  • Survivor benefits – Income for surviving spouses and dependent children if the family breadwinner dies.

The SSA collects Social Security payroll taxes and manages the program. Most American workers pay into Social Security through payroll deductions and become eligible for benefits later in life.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for people age 65 and older and certain younger adults with disabilities. Medicare helps pay for:

  • Hospital care (Part A) – Inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice and home health care.
  • Medical services (Part B) – Doctor visits, lab tests, surgeries, preventive services, durable medical equipment and more.
  • Prescription drugs (Part D) – Outpatient prescription medications.
  • Supplemental coverage – Options like Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medigap plans help cover Medicare out-of-pocket costs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), runs the Medicare program.

  • Social Security provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits.
  • Medicare provides health insurance and prescription drug coverage.

While the programs are related in some ways, they serve different primary purposes.

Who Manages Social Security and Medicare?

Social Security and Medicare are both federal programs, but different agencies oversee each one:

  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages Social Security.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) manages Medicare. CMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

SSA and CMS each handle program administration, benefits delivery, eligibility determinations, payments to providers, customer service and public education for their respective programs.

For example, the SSA determines eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits based on your work history. CMS determines eligibility for Medicare based on age, disability status or other criteria.

So while SSA and CMS are both federal agencies serving American citizens, they have distinct responsibilities when it comes to managing programs and paying benefits.

Online Social Security and Medicare Accounts

Many people have questions about whether your online Social Security and Medicare accounts are the same thing. Here are the key facts:

  • You can create separate online accounts for Social Security and Medicare.
  • Each account is managed by the agency overseeing that program – SSA or CMS.
  • The accounts allow you to securely access your personal benefit information online.

Let’s look at how to establish and use both accounts.

Social Security Online Account

You can create a personal my Social Security account on This allows you to access your Social Security Statement, earnings records, benefit details and more.

With a my Social Security account you can:

  • Get personalized retirement benefit estimates
  • Check the status of an application or appeal
  • Change your address and other personal information
  • Start or change direct deposit of benefits
  • Request a replacement Social Security card
  • Print benefit verification letters and other forms

Creating an online Social Security account is free. You need to provide personal information such as your Social Security number, birthdate, mailing address and email to confirm your identity.

Medicare Online Account

Your account allows you to view your Medicare claims, coverage status, prescription drug lists and more. With MyMedicare you can:

  • See your Medicare enrollment status
  • View and print an Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
  • Check Part B deductible status
  • View eligibility, entitlement and preventive visit history
  • Access your “Blue Button” personal health data to share
  • Request a replacement Medicare card

Setting up a login is free. You’ll need to provide your Medicare number, name, birthdate and other personal details.

So while the Social Security and Medicare accounts are both useful online tools, they are managed separately and offer access to different benefit information.

What Each Online Account Offers

Let’s look closer at what you can do with the Social Security and Medicare accounts.

Social Security Online Account Features

Some key features of a my Social Security account include:

Social Security Statement – Your statement contains a record of your lifetime earnings on which your benefits will be based and estimates of future retirement, disability and survivor benefits you may receive.

Earnings record – Make sure your taxed wages are recorded properly each year. Accurate earnings records are crucial for calculating your future Social Security benefits.

Benefit details – View your monthly Social Security benefit amount, payment schedule, deductions (if any) and type of benefits you’re getting (retirement, disability, survivor).

Benefit verification letter – Instantly print proof that you receive Social Security benefits. You may need this for loans, housing assistance, Medicaid and other programs.

Change address or direct deposit – Update your mailing address and bank account for direct deposit of benefits.

Order replacement Social Security card – Request a replacement Social Security card if yours is lost or stolen.

So your Social Security account acts as an online hub to monitor your benefits and communicate with SSA.

Medicare Online Account Features

With your account, you can:

View claims – Check the status of recent claims to confirm what services Medicare paid for and your out-of-pocket costs.

Check Part B deductible – See how much of your Part B deductible you have met.

View eligibility status – Confirm when your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage starts.

Access health records – Download medical records, prescriptions, immunizations and more using the Blue Button tool.

Check enrollment status – See details on any Medicare or Part D drug plan you’re enrolled in.

Request replacement Medicare card – Order a new card if yours is damaged, lost or stolen.

So the Medicare account acts as your personal health insurance hub for viewing coverage details, claims history and personal medical data.

How Social Security and Medicare Accounts Are Linked

While your Social Security and Medicare accounts are managed separately, they are linked in a few key ways:

Social Security Enrollment Triggers Medicare

In most cases, when you file for Social Security retirement benefits, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65. (Limited income adults can get Part A premium-free at 65 without filing for retirement).

So Social Security triggers your initial Medicare enrollment if you qualify by age. But you use your separate Medicare account to manage benefits after you have Medicare coverage.

Social Security Shares Data with Medicare

While Social Security and CMS maintain separate databases, they share information relevant to your benefits. For example:

  • Social Security provides CMS with updated addresses, deaths and other data about Medicare beneficiaries. This ensures CMS records stay current.

  • CMS provides Social Security with monthly Medicare Part B premium amounts, so SSA can properly deduct premiums from your Social Security check.

  • The agencies share data on low-income Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for financial assistance programs.

So while your accounts are separate, Social Security and Medicare exchange certain data to coordinate your benefits.

You May Access Both Accounts Through One Login

In the past, your Social Security and Medicare accounts existed completely separately. You needed usernames and passwords for each one.

Now SSA is rolling out updated login technology that provides access to both accounts through one secure login on My Social Security. Here’s how it works:

  • You first create an online Social Security account on My Social Security (

  • When logged into your Social Security account, you’ll see your Personal Information Dashboard.

  • On the Dashboard, there is a widget (“box”) labeled Medicare Account Link.

  • Click on Connect to link your Medicare account to your Social Security account login.

  • After linking the accounts

How to Use Your My Social Security Account (when on Medicare)


Are Medicare and Social Security accounts the same?

Social Security offers retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. Medicare provides health insurance. Because these services are often related, you may not know which agency to contact for help. The chart below can help you quickly figure out where to go.

Is Medicare the same as Social Security number?

Your card has a Medicare number that’s unique to you — it’s not your Social Security Number. This helps protect your identity. The card shows: You have Medicare Part A (listed as HOSPITAL), Part B (listed as MEDICAL), or both.

Do you need a Medicare account if you have a Social Security account?

You automatically get Medicare because you’re getting benefits from Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board). Covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Are Social Security and Medicare connected?

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency in charge of the Medicare program, Social Security processes your application for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). We provide general information about the Medicare program and can help you get a replacement Medicare card.

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