If I am shy of quarters necessary to have my own Medicare and fall under my husband's, will I have to pay this new Part A charge?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am shy of qualifying for my own social security; I receive half the amount my husband receives. Will I be charged the new monthly rate for Medicare Coverage A??

Expert Answers

If you are age 65 and EITHER YOU OR YOUR SPOUSE is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, you are also eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A (inpatient coverage) without paying any monthly premium. People who do not have enough work credits on their own OR their spouse's work record to qualify for free Medicare Part A coverage must pay a monthly premium (the exact amount depends on how many work credits they do have.) So, in your case, since your husband qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits and you qualify for what are called spousal or dependents benefits -- 50 percent of what your husband receives, on top of his benefit -- you are eligible for free Medicare Part A coverage when you turn 65 (even though you do not have enough work credits of your own to qualify).

Be aware, though, that everyone has to pay a monthly premium for the other major part of Medicare's medical coverage, Medicare Part B (outpatient care). If you enroll in Medicare Part B as well, the monthly premium amount will be automatically deducted from your Social Security benefits payment. Also, you have to enroll in and pay for a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan if you want coverage for outpatient prescription drugs. Or, you can roll all three parts of your coverage together -- Part A, Part B, and Part D -- by enrolling in a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan.