Benepath, Inc

What Seniors Need to Know About Spousal Medicare Coverage


Newtown Sq, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2018 -- Medicare coverage can be tricky to navigate, especially when spouses turn 65 at different times. Age difference will not make a difference in Medicare coverage as long as all deadlines are met and spouses enroll during their Initial Enrollment Period.

When choosing Medicare coverage it is important to consider the following:

Medicare Eligibility
If both spouses were covered by the same health insurance prior to retirement, then they will be eligible for Medicare once each spouse turns 65 years old.

"There are a number of things that you need to know when getting Medicare coverage," indicated Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, "and the first thing is that Medicare eligibility is important and needs to be done on time. Additionally, do not wait and enroll late, as you may face late enrollment penalties."

Three months before an individual turns 65, information is sent about enrolling in Medicare. If the person receiving that packet worked in the United States for a decade, then they paid Medicare taxes. That usually means automatic enrollment in Medicare Part A at $0 premium. If an individual wishes to enroll in other parts of Medicare, they need to do so at the time they enroll.

Spousal Coverage
If a spouse worked in the United State for 10 years, they and their spouse will receive Medicare Part A premium-free. In other words, spousal coverage should be the same, meaning both will qualify for the same parts.

There are a few exceptions to this situation, especially when spouses are different ages.

Age Gaps
"Just be aware that if there is an age difference between spouses registering for Medicare may be problematic," added Green. Usually the biggest issue arises when one spouse turns 65 before their spouse. It may result in one spouse needing to get additional coverage before they may enroll in Medicare.

Losing Coverage After Retirement
It is possible for one spouse to lose coverage after the other spouse retires. If the spouse that was working and receiving insurance via an employer retires, they will leave the spouse without health insurance. This is known as the "gap," a period of time before the younger spouse turns 65. In that time, that spouse will need a form of coverage from a private insurer.

Supplement Medicare Plans
Once both of the spouses are enrolled in Medicare, that might be the time to consider supplemental Medicare plans. Medicare does not cover all medical expenses.

Prior to enrolling in Medicare, it is important to talk and plan for retirement. Planning is crucial in order for the process to go as smoothly as possible.