Problem:

Mrs. H is about to turn 65 and has never worked. She needs Medicare because it will be her primary insurer when she turns 65. Her husband, Mr. H, is 58 and retired. Mr. H worked in the United States for over 25 years. Because of his age, he is not yet eligible for Social Security benefits.

What To Do:

Even before she collects Social Security benefits, Mrs. H can enroll in Medicare. She can do so by going to her local Social Security office or calling Social Security (800-772-1213) starting three months before she turns 65. However, she must pay the monthly premium for Part A ($441) in addition to Part B ($134) until Mr. H is eligible for Social Security benefits (when he turns 62 or becomes eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance). At that time, she will be eligible for premium-free Part A through Mr. H’s work history and after that, she will only pay the Part B premium. Mrs. H should enroll in Part B now during her Initial Enrollment Period to avoid premium penalties and coverage delays later. If she cannot afford the monthly Part A premium, she can enroll into Part B now and wait to enroll in Part A until it is free. However, she will not have hospital insuranceIf Mrs. H’s income is low enough, she may qualify for assistance to pay the Part A and/or B premiums through the Medicare Savings Program (MSPs).  

For more information about the Medicare Savings Programs, please click here.

 

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