You and your spouse are a unit. You’ve experienced all the major ups and downs of life, and now, entering retirement, you’re experiencing new adventures together as well. Through all the aspects of life you and your spouse share together, one of those shared aspects might be insurance.
Before retirement, were you covered under your spouse’s insurance? Is your spouse covered under your insurance? As you and your spouse turn 65, it is imperative that you enroll in Medicare on time. You and your spouse may turn 65 at different times. That is okay. As long as you enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you will get Medicare coverage.
These waters are tricky to navigate, but it is important that you and your spouse get coverage in the event of any medical emergency. Here are the top 5 facts you need to know when getting Medicare coverage for your spouse.
Medicare Eligibility is Important
Spousal Coverage Should Be the Same
Age Gaps Are Okay
It’s Possible to Lose Coverage After Retirement
Getting a Medicare Supplement Plan
You and your spouse will become eligible for Medicare when you each turn 65. Three months before you turn 65, you will receive information in the mail about enrolling in your new Medicare plan. If you worked in the United States for 40 quarters or 10 years, you paid Medicare taxes during this time. This typically means Medicare will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A for a $0 premium. You will have to choose if you want to enroll in additional parts of Medicare, such as your Medicare Part B outpatient coverage and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
It is important that you enroll in Medicare as soon as possible. If you don’t, it is possible that you might be subject to late enrollment penalties. Depending on the part of Medicare it falls under, you might have to pay these late enrollment fees for the entire duration you have these plans.
You will qualify for the same parts of Medicare as your spouse. If your spouse worked for 10 years in the United States, they will receive Part A premium-free. This means that you will also receive a premium-free Part A plan.
There are few exceptions to this rule. The main reason why you would have the same coverage as your spouse is if there is an age difference. We outline the impacts of an age difference below.
While age gaps are okay when registering for Medicare, it may cause some hiccups in the process. For example, if you turn 65 before your spouse, they will have to wait until they also turn 65 to receive the same coverage benefits. On the other hand, if your spouse turns 65 before you, they will have to enroll in a premium-free Part A plan until you reach 65.
Of the mentioned scenarios, the biggest problem comes when you turn 65 before your spouse does. They might have to get additional coverage before they can enroll in Medicare.
Before you retire, you might receive your health insurance coverage for you and your spouse through your employer. If you retire and turn 65 before your spouse, your spouse will be left without any health insurance coverage.
Until your spouse turns 65, it is important that they find some type of coverage, so they are protected in the event of any medical emergency. You can purchase private health insurance coverage for them, or you can enroll your spouse in a COBRA plan.
This means that until you and your spouse are both 65, you will have to pay premiums for the private health insurance coverage, and your Medicare plans, depending on the ones you choose to enroll in. This conversation around retirement and coverage is important to have with your spouse if you decide to retire before they turn 65.
Once you and your spouse are both enrolled in Medicare, you might want to consider getting a Medicare supplement plan. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover all of your medical expenses. Many people choose to fill these “gaps” in Medicare coverage with a Medicare supplement plan.
These plans often cover all of your copayments and deductibles, depending on the pan you choose. This means that for a doctor visit or hospital stay, you might not have to pay any money out-of-pocket. This type of coverage completely covers you and your spouse in the event of any medical treatment.
You’re Not Alone
In the end, it is possible and easy to enroll your spouse in Medicare. While it may seem daunting, you will not be alone during the process.
If you need help, feel free to give us as call. We can walk you through the process of enrolling you and your spouse in Medicare. We can also help you pick the right Medicare supplement plans that fits you and your family’s needs. Give us a call at (800) 310-2550 or get your free Medicare supplement quote online.