Question:

Hi Stephanie,

My name is Edwina B.   I’m trying to find out if I can claim medicare under my husband who’s 58.  We’ve been married almost 19 years.  I’ve never worked, my husband has been the bread winner in the family.  My husband is retired with full insurance benefits. I am currently on his benefits, till I turn 65. My husband is 58 and I will be 65 the 24th of May.  Medicare has told me that I would have to pay a premium payment for Part A and Part B or I will get a penalty fee.  Is that correct?  I’m confused, I thought I only had to pay for Part B not Part A, please explain.  Thank you so much for looking into this matter. Edwina from Cypress, TX

Answer:

Hello Edwina,

It is very easy to get confused when it comes to Medicare planning and when to apply for benefits. 

Most people do not have to pay premiums for Part A because they have worked for at least 10 years, or have accumulated 40 quarters/credits. Unfortunately, in your situation, you were a homemaker, or what I like to call a “home engineer,” so you have not accumulated enough credits to get Medicare Part A for free. To get Part A for free, you would have to claim under your spouse’s benefits.

Here’s the catch — your husband is 58 years old and under the provisions of the Social Security Administration office. In order to apply for Medicare Part A under your spouse’s benefits and receive Part A premium-free, your husband would need to be 62 years old. 

At this point in time, you would have to apply for Part A and still pay the premiums in order to avoid a penalty fee.  However, once your husband turns 62, you will be able to contact Social Security and re-enroll under your husband’s Medicare benefits.  At that point, you will no longer need to pay for Part A; however, you would still need to pay premiums for Part B.  

Please let me know if this answers your question on the penalty fees involved with Part A.  

Best Regards, Stephanie Salcedo

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