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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Medicare When You're Married, Divorced, or Widowed

The good news about marriage and Medicare is that your coverage won't change. Neither will your spouse's.

Whether you're already married, thinking about getting married, or no longer married, here's what you need to know.

Medicare if You're Married

You and your spouse's coverage might not start Medicare at the same time. You'll each have your own plan. Since you each must enroll in Medicare separately, one of you may be able to sign up before the other one.

Your premiums may change because of your total income. There are no family plans or special rates for couples in Medicare. You will each pay the same premium amount that individuals pay. Here's what to know about costs:

Medicare Part A, hospital coverage has no monthly cost for most people who worked or have a spouse who worked.  The other parts of Medicare do have premiums. 

For Medicare Part B, medical coverage, your premium is based on how much you and your spouse earn together. The more you make each year, the more you'll pay each month for Medicare.

For Part C (Medicare Advantage), you and your spouse will have your own premium, deductible, and copays. This is true even if you have the same plan.

For Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage, plans vary and so do the premiums. Even if you and your spouse pick the same plan, you'll each have to meet the deductible before Medicare starts to pay anything toward your health care

Medicare if You're Widowed or Divorced

You may be able to get Medicare Part A with no monthly premium when you're divorced or widowed. This depends on your work history and your spouse's.

You qualify:

  • If you or your late spouse worked for at least 10 years while paying federal Medicare taxes
  • If you're divorced but were married for at least 10 years, and your spouse worked for at least 10 years while paying Medicare taxes

You will still need to pay premiums for the other parts of Medicare coverage. The cost of those premiums is based on your income alone.

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