Frequently, we receive questions about spouses becoming eligible for Medicare. How many years do we have to be married? What if I was previously married? What if I am a widow/widower?
Here are the list of rules that apply to these scenarios:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR NO-PREMIUM MEDICARE PART A BASED ON A SPOUSE’S WORK HISTORY?To qualify for Medicare Part A with no premium based on a spouse’s work history, you must
- Be at least 65 years old;
- Be a United States citizen or a legal resident for five years; and
- Have a current or former spouse who is at least 62 years old and receives or is eligible to receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits (having worked at least 40 quarters, or 10 years) or has worked the same length in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid, with the following limitations:
- If you are currently spouses: you have to have been spouses for at least one year before applying.
- If you are divorced: you must have been recognized as spouses for at least 10 years, and you must be single at the time of application.
- If you are widowed: you must have been recognized as spouses for at least nine months under the law of the state where your spouse lived before she/he died, and you must be single.