While many group health plans provide joint coverage to the beneficiary’s spouse or dependents, Medicare does not offer joint coverage. Your spouse can only get Medicare benefits if they enroll when they become eligible. However, in some cases, your spouse’s eligibility can make you qualified to get certain Medicare benefits as well.
Premium-Free Part A
Let’s say you are eligible for premium-free Part A and meet all the necessary requirements to ensure you do get premium-free Part A, such as working for ten years or more and paying taxes. Then, you can certainly get premium-free Part A! But, what about your non-working spouse?
Well, your spouse’s eligibility for this will also depend on you, or vice versa if you’re the non-working spouse. You both will be able to get premium-free Part A if one of you has worked and paid taxes for the required amount of time. The only thing that can cause a difference in when you both would start getting coverage would be your ages.
Enrolling in Medicare: Focusing on Age
How old your spouse is will ultimately determine when they will start getting coverage. Of course, for you to even be eligible for Medicare in the first place, you have to be at least 65, or three months from turning 65, as this is when an Initial Enrollment Period would start.
As for your spouse, if they are younger than 65, they won’t be able to get premium-free Part A just yet. This means they’ll have to find another form of coverage until they do become eligible. This can include enrolling in an individual health insurance plan, or staying covered through your employer’s group health plan if you choose to keep working past 65.
If your spouse is older than you, there are a couple things to know. If you have employer group health insurance, then your spouse should enroll in just premium-free Part A and worry about other Medicare plans later (at least until you retire or your coverage ends). This could open a Special Enrollment Period for them to enroll in Part B if they choose to do so, which would keep them from paying any late enrollment penalties.
Another important factor to note is that as long as you are 62 and are eligible to receive Social Security benefits, your spouse will also qualify for premium-free Part A. Now, if you’re younger than 62, but your spouse is still at the age where they are eligible to enroll in Medicare, then it would be best if they still enrolled in Part A and paid the monthly premium until the premium-free benefit will start.
At Medicare Sharks, we understand that Medicare can be a confusing topic. That’s why we’re here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about enrolling in Medicare or if your spouse will be able to get Medicare, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.