Medicare provides a healthcare safety net for millions of retired Americans, but what about their non-working spouses? If you qualify for Medicare, you may also have the option to enroll your non-working spouse in Medicare, too. However, you may have several ways to proceed based on your age and eligibility, your spouse’s age and eligibility, as well as the rules of your employer-provided insurance plan. In any case, let’s take a closer look at 3 important facts about Medicare coverage for non-working spouses,

Spouses Cannot Be on the Same Medicare Plan

If you qualify for Medicare, your spouse may qualify, too. However, this does not mean you will be on the same plan. No matter your circumstances, two people cannot share a Medicare plan. In essence, as long as they both meet the necessary age and citizenship requirements, both spouses can enjoy the benefits of Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage when they turn 65.

62 Is an Important Number

Many people get confused about how Medicare works with spouses who are of different ages. However, the only number you really need to remember is 62. For example, let’s say that you turn 65 but do not have the work history to qualify for premium-free Part A coverage. You can still get Medicare, but you have to pay a steep monthly premium for Part A. Let’s also say that your spouse does have the work history to qualify for premium-free Part A coverage, but they are younger than you. As soon as your spouse turns 62, their premium-free eligibility will also apply to you. So, even if you don’t have the necessary work history, you can still qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A through your spouse.

The Switch to Medicare May Depend on Your Employer

If you and your spouse are both on an employer-provided health insurance plan, you may need to make some tough decisions when either of you turns 65. Some employer health plans have strict rules about providing benefits to Medicare-eligible dependents. Be sure to comb over the fine print of your employer-sponsored insurance well in advance so that you and your spouse can make an informed decision. If your employer decides to drop your spouse when they become eligible for Medicare, you may have little choice but to have them enroll in their own Medicare plan.

The Bottom Line

As you and your spouse approach retirement, you need to make a plan about your future healthcare. Knowing Medicare’s rules for non-working spouses can help ensure that neither you nor your spouse experiences any lapses in coverage. Fortunately, Medicare makes it pretty easy for a non-working spouse to qualify for Medicare (even premium-free Part A) without the standard 10-year work history minimum.

If you’d like to learn more about Medicare coverage for non-working spouses or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.