Are you close to retiring and want to know if you can use your spouse’s Medicare?
Maybe your spouse works while you don’t, or you’re just curious about how Medicare works for couples.
The good news is, that spouses can benefit from each other’s Medicare, but you need to know the rules and limits.
Can A Spouse Who Doesn’t Work Qualify For Medicare?
Yes, they can.
Medicare is available to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria, including spouses.
However, it’s important to note that Medicare is individual insurance, so spouses cannot be on the same Medicare plan together.
Instead, if your spouse is eligible, they can get their own Medicare plan.
It’s worth considering some important aspects regarding your non-working spouse and Medicare.
Is It Possible For Your Spouse Who Doesn’t Work To Qualify For Premium-Free Medicare Part A?
Absolutely! If you have been employed and contributed to Medicare taxes via payroll deductions for a minimum of 10 years, both you and your spouse are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A upon reaching the age of 65.
This benefit comes without any premium since the Medicare taxes you’ve paid have funded the hospital insurance trust fund, which supports Medicare Part A benefits for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
What Happens If One Of You Becomes Eligible For Medicare Before The Other?
Usually, one spouse will become eligible for Medicare before the other, unless you were born in the same month of the same year.
If you both have health insurance through your employer and one of you reaches 65, you’ll have to decide about Medicare.
Your employer’s rules about dependents who are eligible for Medicare will affect your choices.
Some employers may require eligible spouses to enroll in Medicare at age 65 to stay on the employer’s plan.
Talk to your employer benefits administrator to find out more about your options.
Medicare When Your Non-Working Spouse Is Younger
Even if you keep working after turning 65, you’ll have to decide what to do about your Medicare.
Regardless of your choice to continue working or not, your spouse still needs health insurance until they’re eligible for Medicare too.
Here are some options:
- Your spouse can stay on your employer’s health plan if you stay employed and keep the coverage.
- If you retire, your employer might offer COBRA coverage for your spouse.
- Your spouse can buy their health insurance until they reach 65.
- Your employer’s benefits manager can explain the options to you and your spouse.
Medicare When Your Non-Working Spouse Is Older
If your older spouse doesn’t work and you’re covered by your job’s health insurance, they might want to sign up for Medicare Part A without paying a premium until you retire or your work insurance ends.
They can add Part B later without extra charges during a Special Enrollment Period if your job’s insurance is good enough.
It’s important to know that when you, the working spouse, can get Medicare affects when your non-working spouse can get Part A without paying.
You have to be at least 62 and able to get Social Security benefits before your spouse can sign up.
Their eligibility depends on your work history.
You don’t have to start getting Social Security benefits; you just need to be old enough to apply for them.
If you’re younger than 62, your spouse may need to pay for Part A until they can get it for free.
Even though Medicare is for individuals, spouses should consider these things when making Medicare choices together.
In essence, spouses can leverage each other’s Medicare benefits, but they must grasp the regulations.
While Medicare is individual, non-working spouses can qualify for premium-free Part A based on the working spouse’s employment history.
Timing and employer policies are crucial, particularly if one spouse becomes eligible for Medicare before the other.
Both partners need to explore options together, considering their circumstances and eligibility factors.
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Anne Mitchell: Reporting Expert in Business Commerce Insurance
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