While working on the online application for Medicare I called Social Security. They state that I am not eligible as I don’t have enough credits and won’t be eligible until my husband turns 62 this coming October, then apply under him as he does have the credits. They also said I couldn’t get Part B – Doctor Visits until open enrollment, Jan-March 2017, which wouldn’t be effective till July.
This is an interesting question as it’s the first time it’s come up for me for someone who has lived in the USA all their life. CMS gives the following information on their page which you can view by clicking here.
To be eligible for premium-free Part A, an individual must be entitled to receive Medicare based on their own earnings or those of a spouse, parent, or child. To receive premium-free Part A, the worker must have a specified number of quarters of coverage (QCs)  and file an application for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. The exact number of QCs required is dependent on whether the person is filing for Part A on the basis of age, disability, or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). QCs are earned through payment of payroll taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act Wikipedia (FICA) during the person’s working years. Most individuals pay the full FICA tax so the QCs they earn can be used to meet the requirements for both monthly Social Security benefits and premium-free Part A.
Which begs the following Questions
I’m under 65, and I or my spouse is still working
My spouse has never worked. If they turn 65 before I do, can they get Medicare at 65? Or, do they have to wait until I turn 65 and have Medicare?
If you’re at least 62 and have worked at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, your spouse can get Part A and Part B at 65.
If you’ve worked at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment but aren’t yet 62 when your spouse turns 65, they won’t be eligible for premium-free Part A until your 62nd birthday. In this case, your spouse should still apply for Part B at 65, so they can avoid paying a higher Part B premium.
However, if you’re still working and your spouse is covered under your group health plan, they could delay their Part B enrollment without paying higher premiums.
Next month, I’ll be 65. I’ve only worked for a few years and my spouse is 60. Can I enroll in Medicare?
Yes, you can enroll in Medicare. But if you’ve worked less than 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium for Part A. If you choose Part B, you’ll also have to pay the Part B premium.
Enroll in Part A and Part B or find out how much your Part A premium will be.
Does a spouse, age 62, get Medicare when their husband/wife aged 65 does?
Generally, no. You can’t get Medicare until you’re 65. However, you may qualify for Medicare coverage if you’re less than 65 if you have a disability or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). CMS.Gov
How does paying the premium for Part A Hospital compare to just continuing your premiums for Individual Medical Coverage?
Unfortunately, our FREE Quote Engine doesn’t calculate over 65, coverage is generally not available. In reviewing the confidential file for this hypothetical person asking the question their husband and wife rate is $1,380 for Health Net Gold HMO. The rate for the under age 62 spouse only is $661, thus the premium would be $719 for the person who is 65. $426 for Part A Hospital + $105 to $120 for Part B Doctor Visits – ZERO for a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes Part D Prescriptions still sounds like a good deal, especially since it doesn’t give you the Part B late enrollment penalty which includes having to wait till the next July to have it effective. There is also a Part D Rx penalty if you don’t enroll when eligible.