Can I Get Medicare If I Have Never Worked?

If you are near 65 and thinking if you can get Medicare if you have never worked- the answer is yes. If you are a U.S. citizen who had legally lived in the States and have 65 or more you can get Medicare coverage even if you are never been employed, but sometimes at a higher price. The premiums you will need to pay for coverage depend on several factors and situations. In this blog, we will explain all of them to avoid possible confusion. Also, Medicare coverage is available for people younger than 65 with specific disabilities like ESRD or Lou Gehrig’s disease and if you receive Social Security benefits for disability or disability pension from Railroad Retirement Board.

How Do I Qualify for Part A Free Premium If Never Worked?

Most Medicare beneficiates qualify for “Part A free premium” because they have enough working years through which they have paid Medicare taxes. This means that if you have worked at least 40 quarters you don’t need to pay for Medicare Part A. However, everyone needs to pay for Part B monthly premiums regardless of their working years. 

If you haven’t worked long enough to qualify for free Part A there are ways you can still get out of paying a monthly premium for it. There are three main situations in which you can get Part A free premium:

  • Through your spouse’s coverage: if your spouse has worked at least ten years which equals 40 quarters that means that he or she paid Medicare taxes long enough to qualify for part A free premium. You can get your spouse’s coverage if you were married at least for one year. In the case of disability, the spouse must be eligible for SSDI or retirement benefits 
  • Through your former spouse’s coverage: you can get your Medicare coverage if you are divorced but only if you were married at least for 10 years. Also if your former spouse received Social Security or retirement benefits due to disability
  • Through your late spouse’s coverage: you can receive Part A free premium benefits if you are widowed, but only if you have been married at least for 9 months before he or she passed away, and do not have any new partner. In case of disability, your late spouse needed to have SSDI or retirement pension benefits

Part A Free Premium Due To Disability 

If you are younger than 65 you are still eligible for free Part A premium if you received Social Security disability insurance benefits for at least 2 years. In that case, you automatically get Part A. To receive this type of benefit, you must have proof that you are disabled to work because your illness will last at least 12 months or it is terminal and does not have a partial or short-term disability.

You can get Part A free premium coverage due to disability if you have:

  • ERSD: if your doctor diagnosed that you have permanent kidney failure and waiting for a transplant, and currently are on dialysis you can get Medicare benefits. Those benefits are applicable to you if you have received SSDI, or retirement pension as well as if your spouse or parent worked long enough to receive Social Security benefits
  • ALS:  if you have ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease you are automatically eligible for free part A when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (benefits start five months after an application is filed).

When Do I Need To Pay For Medicare Part A?

You will have to pay for Part A monthly premium if you are eligible for Medicare coverage but:

  • Have not worked long enough and paid Medicare taxes (at least 10 years or 40 quarters)
  • Do not receive coverage for your spouse
  • Do not receive coverage due to disability ( not receive SSDI benefits or retirement pension)

If you have never worked, or have worked but not at least for 30 quarters (and none of the above applies)  you will have to buy and pay the full monthly premium for Part A (hospital insurance), which is 499$ in 2022.  However, if you worked at least 30 to 39 quarters your Part A premium will be 274$ per month.

Also, to be eligible for Medicare coverage you still have to be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted citizen who has lived in the States for at least five years. When you choose to buy Part A, you also have to buy Part B which is your medical insurance, and covers doctor visits, etc. Everyone needs to pay Part B monthly premium regardless of paid Medicare taxes. Part B’s monthly premium is 170.10$ in 2022.

Medicare can be confusing for first-time enrollees, so if you are not sure how Medicare works or have any other questions about other parts of Medicare you can contact Temmen Insurance for help. We are experienced licensed brokers who help Medicare beneficiaries nationwide and can help you get the information and proper coverage you need.

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