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Can I Get Medicare Through My Spouse?

Married couples are often under the same insurance plan. Whether because it’s cheaper to be on the same plan or because one spouse doesn’t have an employer-sponsored plan, we usually see our married clients on the same plan.

So, when our clients ask us, “Can I get Medicare through my spouse?” we aren’t surprised. The answer is that it’s a little different on Medicare. Today, we’re going to talk to you specifically about Medicare Part A, joint coverage, and HSAs.

husband and wife on park bench

Medicare Part A Eligibility

Most beneficiaries receive premium-free Part A. If that applies to you, you won’t need to worry about getting Medicare through your spouse because you’ll qualify for it on your own. You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you have worked at least 40 quarters in the U.S. and paid Social Security taxes during that time or if you are eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits.

Some younger folks are also eligible for Medicare. If you’ve been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or have been on disability for 24 months, you may also qualify for premium-free Part A.

Medicare Part A for Non-Working Spouses

What if you haven’t met those requirements? If none of the above conditions apply to you, the next step is to see if your spouse is eligible. If they are, you might also be eligible for the $0 Part A premium.

First, your spouse must be at least 62. If your spouse is not 62 years old, you’ll have to wait until they’re that age. Next, let’s look at three scenarios you might find yourself in.

Married: You must have been married to your spouse for at least one year, and they must be eligible for Social Security benefits.

Divorced: You must have been married for ten years to someone who is eligible for Social Security, and you must now be single.

Widowed: You must have been married to your late spouse for at least nine months; they must have been eligible for Social Security, and you must now be single.

What Is Not Covered Through Your Spouse’s Medicare?

You might be lucky enough to get Medicare Part A through your spouse, but there are a few things you won’t share when it comes to Medicare coverage.

Part B Premiums

Most people pay a premium for Part B, even if you’re eligible for premium-free Part A. Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets a standard premium for Part B. However, individuals and couples with higher incomes may pay more than the standard amount. Married individuals each have to pay their own Part B premium.

This year (2023), the standard Part B premium is $164.90. This amount will be deducted from your Social Security benefits each month. If you aren’t taking Social Security benefits yet, you’ll receive a quarterly invoice.

Medicare Joint Coverage

Our married clients often ask us if they can get a joint Medicare plan with their spouse. The answer is always no. While you may decide to choose the same plans, each policy will be an individual one. You’ll each have separate premiums and policy numbers.

That said, some Medigap plans offer discounts to couples who join the same plan. If you’re both considering the same Medigap plan, Local Medicare Specialists can help you find the insurance company that is offering the best household discount.

HSA When One Spouse Has Medicare

HSAs are a great savings tool that allows you to get triple tax-saving benefits. HSA stands for Health Savings Account. Anyone who enrolls in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can open an HSA and fund it with tax-deferred income

However, when you enroll in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prohibits HSA funding if you are enrolled in any part of Medicare, even if it’s just Part A. What they don’t prohibit, though, is the spouse (who isn’t on Medicare) from contributing to the account.

Let’s run through some frequently asked questions about HSAs and Medicare.

Can I contribute to my spouse’s HSA if I’m on Medicare?

Yes. If your spouse is eligible for an HSA and is not on Medicare, you can contribute to it. You can do so through your employer’s payroll system. 

My spouse and I are on my employer’s HSA-qualified plan, and I’m enrolling in Medicare. Can she open a separate HSA?

Yes. As long as your spouse is eligible for an HSA and not on Medicare, he or she can open an HSA. They can then make contributions to the account, all the way up to the family maximum.

Medicare Made Easy with Local Medicare Specialists

We hope you feel a little more comfortable planning for Medicare. If you find yourself in a situation where only one spouse is eligible for Medicare, we can help find health insurance for the spouse who isn’t yet eligible.

It might sound difficult (and we’ll admit it’s not easy!), but with a local Medicare advisor in Arizona on your side, Medicare is less overwhelming. There is no cost to work with our team, so call today to schedule an appointment with a Medicare advisor near you.

Still Have Medicare Questions?

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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area which are United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Centene, Devoted, and Scan. Please contact, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

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