You’re turning 65 and plan to enroll in Medicare soon. Does that mean your younger spouse will be eligible for Medicare, too? We have the answers you need.
What Makes You Eligible for Medicare?
Let’s start with the basics! You are eligible for full Medicare benefits if:
- You are 65 or older
- You are a permanent legal resident who has lived in the United States at least five years or are a U.S. Citizen; and
- You (or your spouse) are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits; or
- You (or your spouse) are a government employee or retiree who has not paid into Social Security but has paid Medicare payroll taxes while working.
There are exceptions to these requirements. In some cases, you may be eligible to apply for full Medicare coverage under the age of 65 if you have a qualifying disability or certain conditions, such as End Stage Renal Disease.
Can Your Younger Spouse Receive Coverage Based on Your Medicare Eligibility?
Given Medicare’s eligibility requirements, unfortunately, your younger spouse is not covered by Medicare based on your personal eligibility status.
Although employer insurance (also known as group insurance) generally provides health care coverage options for you, your spouse and dependents, Medicare coverage is different. Medicare plans are designed to cover individuals.
What Does This Mean for You and Your Spouse?
If your spouse is covered under your current health insurance, when you decide to retire, you will need to consider alternative health plan options for him or her. Healthcare.gov is a helpful resource you can use to begin researching plans for your spouse.
Unsure about your Medicare eligibility? Use our handy tool to find out if you’re eligible!