| Tue, Jan 03, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare for Individuals Who are Divorced or Widowed

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

marital-status-may-help-medicare-eligibilityMany individuals who are divorced or widowed are concerned that the loss of their spouse will somehow affect their ability to qualify for Original Medicare.

Rest assured, your marital status does not affect your ability to qualify for Medicare. You are eligible for Medicare if:

  • You are a U.S citizen or legal resident for at least 5 consecutive years; and
  • You are:

Marital status may affect the cost of your Part A monthly premium.

Even though your marital status doesn’t affect eligibility, it may affect the cost of your Medicare Part A monthly premium.

Most individuals qualify for premium-free Part A because they’ve worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (40 quarters). These individuals have what is called a “work history.”

If you didn’t pay Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you may not qualify for premium-free or reduced-premium Part A based on your own work history. However, you may be allowed to use the work history of your former or deceased spouse under certain conditions.

  • You were married at least 10 years before the date your divorce was final; or
  • You were married a least 1 year before the date of your spouse’s death.

Your Part A monthly premium amount depends on how long your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes.

  • You may get premium-free Part A if your former or late spouse paid Medicare taxes for 10 years (40 quarters); or
  • You may pay $227 per month in 2017 if your spouse paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters; or
  • You may pay $413 per month in 2017 if your spouse worked less than 30 quarters.

Individual situations may vary. Check out the Medicare Eligibility online tool to find out how much, if anything, you’ll have to pay for your Part A.

Part B monthly premiums are the same for most individuals.

Most individuals are required to pay a monthly premium for their Medicare Part B. The standard premium in 2017 is $134 per month, though most people will pay $109 per month.

Individuals with higher incomes may be required to pay a higher monthly premium. Individuals who do not enroll in Part B when they first become eligible may have to pay late enrollment penalties. Calculate your estimated Part B premium by using the online tool at Medicare.gov.

The online tool doesn’t take into account every situation. It’s important that you ask questions and get answers for your specific situation. You may want to contact the Social Security Administration for more information by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.