If your spouse is eligible for Medicare, you might be wondering if you can get coverage through your spouse’s eligibility. Medicare isn’t like employer-sponsored medical insurance coverage. Instead, your spouse will not be eligible for Medicare unless he or she qualifies for coverage by age or by disability.
Unless you qualify through disability, the minimum age to get Medicare is 65. Also, you must either have been a legal permanent citizen for at least five years or an American citizen. If your spouse is younger than 65 and receives disability benefits from either the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security for more than 24 months, he or she will be eligible for Medicare coverage when they reach the 25th month of having received monthly disability benefits.
An individual can also qualify for Medicare if younger than 65 if he or she has end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. If none of these situations apply, you must wait until you are 65 to be eligible for medical coverage through Medicare. If you don’t have access to group coverage through an employer, you will most likely have to purchase your health insurance through the online Health Insurance Marketplace.
There is one exception to the Medicare rule for you – if you are the older spouse and don’t meet the Medicare requirements of working and paying Medicare taxes for ten years, but your spouse does, you may still be eligible. You can qualify for Medicare Part A benefits premium-free based on your spouse’s tax payment record.
After your spouse reaches age 62, they become eligible for Social Security. This opens the door for you to qualify for Medicare when you turn 65 or older based on your spouse’s tax record. Your spouse isn’t required to file for Social Security benefits for you to access Medicare, they just need to qualify for benefits by achieving the age of 62.
Remember, this only applies if your spouse has paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters – or 10 years. You must also be a legal permanent resident of the U.S. for five years or longer or an American citizen.
Note: This premium-free benefit is only for Part A Hospitalization Coverage. You would still need to purchase Medicare Part B or have some form of credible health insurance, like your spouse’s employer-sponsored insurance.
If you are covered under your spouse’s health insurance, you can wait on getting Medicare Part B until your spouse turns 65 and files for Medicare. You will not have to pay any penalties associated with the delay in purchasing Medicare Part B. Your spouse’s insurance coverage must be at least equal to the coverage provided by Medicare Part B to be deemed credible.
To learn more about Medicare supplements and insurance options for an under-65 spouse, contact the professionals at 1-844-236-0228. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.