Will my wife need to pay monthly medicare part A charges after I die?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 19, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am retired military and my wife and I are both covered by Tricare. She will remain on Tricare after my demise. But will she need to pay a monthly medicare premium inasmuch as she has never been employed?


Expert Answers

Medicare Part A (inpatient care) is available with no monthly premium to anyone age 65 or over who qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits OR whose spouse qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits. Because your work with the military earned you work credits with Social Security, you are or will be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. As a result, your wife will be eligible for Social Security dependents benefits (50% of your retirement amount) when you claim your retirement benefits, and she will collect the full amount of your benefits as a survivor after you die. She will become eligible for free Medicare Part A as soon as she turns 65, regardless of when you actually begin collecting your Social Security retirement benefits, and she will continue to receive free Medicare Part A coverage after you die.