Social Security and Medicare 247 Your earnings here are from wages as an employee or from self-employment income only. Nonwork sources of income such as pensions, investment income, IRA distributions, trust income, or interest do not count against you. Medicare Here we go with another can of worms! Medicare is also going broke. No kidding! According to the 2000 Hospital Insurance Trustee Report, Medicare will be bankrupt by the year 2025 if we maintain the system as it is. Congress is trying to fix the problem and, as always, needs help. The only constant in life is change. So forewarned is forearmed. Eventually the Medicare benefits eligibility age will have to go up from 65 to 67. And we may also be paying more in taxes and receiving fewer Medicare services in the future. The closer you get to retirement age, the more attention you will need to pay to what Congress is doing that will affect your Medicare benefits. What Is Medicare? Medicare is a health insurance plan for people who are 65 or older. People who are disabled or have permanent kidney failure can get Medicare at any age. Medicare has two parts, hospital in- surance and medical insurance. Hospital insurance, sometimes referred to as Part A, covers in-patient hospital care and certain follow-up care. You've already paid for it as part of your Social Security taxes while you were working. Medical insurance, referred to as Part B, pays for physician's services and some services not cov- ered by Part A. Medical insurance is optional, available for a premium that will be deducted from your Social Security check.