Can my spouse and I share Medicare coverage?

Posted by Alex Stark on November 24th, 2022

You can't, but that doesn't mean you or your partner won't have health insurance while you're switching to Medicare. Find out how you can both stay covered while you switch plans.

If you're signing up for Part B give-back plan for the first time, you may have noticed that it works a little differently than the individual or employer-based insurance you're used to. Medicare has its own way it is set up and different kinds of plans. It also has its own rules about who can get it and when which can be confusing for couples who have always had the same health insurance.

a couple of senior buy with internet

This brings us to a big question that people often ask right away when they sign up for Medicare: can a couple share the same coverage? No, part b giveback program is only for people who live on their own.

However, this answer usually brings up many more questions:

  • What happens if I'm enrolled in Medicare but my husband, wife, or domestic partner isn't?

  • What if my spouse is on Medicare but I’m not?

  • What if my spouse isn’t working or isn’t eligible right now?

We can help you find some answers, which is good news. We'll show you why Medicare was made for people to join on their own. Then, we'll talk about some of the things that could happen as you and your spouse switch to Medicare.

The reasons you can’t share Medicare coverage with a spouse

Why can't Medicare cover two people at the same time? The main reason is that Medicare eligibility is different for each person. Your eligibility for Medicare and how much you pay for it depend on things like your age and how long you've worked. For instance, your Initial Enrollment Period starts on the day you turn 65.

Marriage and Medicare

The good news is that things like getting married don't change your coverage because it is your own. Your marriage status doesn't change your coverage, so getting married or divorced doesn't make you gain or lose coverage.

When you can enroll – the basics

Before we get into the different things that can happen when you and your spouse sign up for Medicare, it might be helpful to go over some basics, especially about when you can sign up.

To be eligible for Medicare, you must be a U.S. citizen or have permission to live in the U.S. You also have to:

  • Be age 65 or over, OR

  • Be under age 65 with certain disabilities, OR

  • Have end-stage renal disease

So, for many, the key to being eligible is your age, or more specifically, when you turn 65. If you want to enroll, it doesn't matter what you or your wife, husband, or domestic partner did for work in the past.

Premium-free Part A – the one spousal benefit you can share

Even though you might not be able to share coverage, spouses can share one benefit. If you or your husband, wife, or domestic partner worked and paid taxes for at least 10 years, both of you can get Medicare Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums.

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Alex Stark

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Alex Stark
Joined: November 17th, 2022
Articles Posted: 8

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