How Do You Determine Medicare Eligibility for Your Spouse?


Quick Answer

Nonworking spouses are eligible for Medicare based on a spouse's work record if the working spouse has 10 years or more of Medicare-covered employment, reports Medicare.gov. For a spouse to receive premium-free Medicare Part A, the working spouse must be at least 62 when the nonworking spouse enrolls in Medicare.

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Full Answer

If the working spouse is less than 62 years old when the nonworking spouse turns 65, the nonworking spouse can enroll in Medicare Part B at minimum premium and either pay a premium for Part A or wait until the working spouse is 62 to enroll in Part A premium-free, according to Medicare.gov. Although Medicare Part A is premium-free for eligible spouses, Part B premiums are based on the combined incomes of both spouses, reports WebMD. Each spouse has a separate plan and must enroll in Medicare individually when they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

Spouses may become eligible for Medicare before age 65 if they have a disability and have been receiving benefits for more than 24 months, if they have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, or if they have end-stage renal disease, states Medicare.gov. For a nonworking spouse to receive Medicare for these conditions, it is still necessary for the working spouse to have the required number of work credits for eligibility.

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