Medicare for Individuals Who are Divorced or Widowed

Published by: Medicare Made Clear

Many individuals who are divorced or widowed are concerned that the loss of their spouse will somehow affect their ability to qualify for Original Medicare (Parts A & B).

 

Rest assured your marital status does not affect your ability to qualify for Medicare. You are eligible for Medicare if:

 

  • You are a U.S citizen or legal resident for at least 5 consecutive years; and
  • You are:
    • Age 65 or older or
    • Younger than 65 with a qualifying disability or
    • Any age if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

 

 

Marital Status May Affect the Cost of Your Part A Monthly Premium

 

Even though your marital status doesn’t affect eligibility, it could impact the cost of your Medicare Part A monthly premium.

 

Most individuals qualify for premium-free Part A because they’ve worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (40 quarters). If you didn’t pay Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you may not qualify for premium-free or reduced-premium Part A based on your own work history.

 

However, you may be allowed to use the work history of your former or deceased spouse under certain conditions.

 

  • You were married at least 10 years before the date your divorce was final; or
  • You were married a least 1 year before the date of your spouse’s death.

 

Your Part A monthly premium amount depends on how long your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes.1

 

  • You may get premium-free Part A if your former or late spouse paid Medicare taxes for 10 years (40 quarters)

 

Or

 

  • You may pay $252 per month in 2020 if your spouse paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters; or
  • You may pay $458 per month in 2020 if your spouse worked less than 30 quarters.

 

Individual situations may vary, so be sure to find out what you costs will be for Part well in advance of the end of your Initial Enrollment Period.

 

 

Part B Enrollment May Be Impacted If You Lose Coverage Through Your Spouse

 

In most cases, individuals who do not enroll in Part B when they first become eligible may have to pay late enrollment penalties. However, if you were covered by a spouse’s employer or retiree coverage, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period during which to get Part B.

 

The online blog doesn’t take into account every situation, so it’s important that you ask questions and get answers for your specific situation. You may want to contact the Social Security Administration for more information by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

[1] https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-a-costs

 

Learn More About How to Enroll

 

Find out how to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plan.

Medicare Made Clear

Medicare Made Clear is brought to you by UnitedHealthcare to help make understanding Medicare easier. Click here to take advantage of more helpful tools and resources from Medicare Made Clear including downloadable worksheets and guides.

Medicare Made Clear

 

Whether you're just starting out with Medicare, need to brush up on the facts, or are helping a loved one, start your journey here.

 

Introduction to Medicare 

Get the Latest

 

Boost your Medicare know-how with reliable, up-to-date news and information delivered to your inbox every month.

Sign up now

Related Articles

Explore More Medicare Topics

Benefits & Coverage

Working Past 65

Medicare Costs

Medicare Tips & FAQs

Shopping for Medicare

Eligibility & Enrollment

Find a Plan

Call Us

Call UnitedHealthcare at FED TFN, TTY 711 (toll-free)

 

Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

7 days a week

Call UnitedHealthcare at MEDSUPP TFN, TTY 711 (toll-free)

 

Hours:

7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET,

Monday – Friday

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Saturday

Meet with Us

Make an appointment with a licensed insurance agent/producer in your area