Widowed or divorced; this is a serious stage that many individuals fear as their main concern is that the loss of their partner will affect their qualification for Original Medicare.
The fact is that the marital status does not affect the ability of qualifying for Medicare. One is eligible for Medicare if:
- You are 65 years or more
- You have not attained 65 years but have a qualifying disability
- You are a citizen of the U.S. or a legal resident for literally 5 consecutive years
- Regardless of the age, if you suffer with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or end-stage renal disease.
Part A monthly premium marital status
Your marital status does not affect eligibility, but it may affect your Medicare cost of Part A monthly premium. Generally, individuals qualify for Part A premium-free as they have paid and worked for Medicare taxes for a period of 10 years at least or 40 quarters. Such people have a work history.
There is a need for working people to pay the Medicare taxes for a period of 10 years to stay qualified for the reduced-premium Part A or premium-free. However, you can use your deceased or former spouse work history under a few conditions:
- Your marriage lasted for a period of 10 years at least prior to the divorce date or
- Your marriage lasted for 1 year at least prior to the death of your spouse
The monthly premium amount of Part A depends on the length of the working period of your spouse and paid Medicare taxes.
- You receive Part A premium-free in case your late or former spouse paid for 10 years or the 40 quarters of Medicare taxes or
- You may pay per month $227( as of 2017), in case your spouse paid for 30-39 quarters the Medicare taxes or
- You pay per month $413(as of 2017), if your spouse worked fewer than 30 quarters.
The situations of each individual may vary. Check for Medicare Eligibility tool online and you can calculate that you have to pay for Part A.
Part B monthly premium
Most individuals pay for Part B Medicare advantage plans as monthly premium. However individual earning higher income pay higher monthly premium. But individuals missing out the Part B enrolment during their eligibility will have to bear the late penalties. You may ask details and get proper information before enrolling.