Since individuals pay Medicare taxes through payroll deductions, if you work and pay taxes for at least 10 years then you qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A when you turn 65. Your non-working spouse will also qualify at age 65 based on your work record. Additionally, you will both qualify for Medicare Part B at age 65 respectively, but each covered individual must pay a monthly Part B premium.
Naturally, many spouses turn 65 at different times or even in different years. So here we explain what happens when one of you becomes eligible for Medicare before the other:
If Your Non-Working Spouse is Younger
Until your spouse turns 65 and becomes eligible for Medicare, he or she will need other health insurance. This may be through your employer if you continue working. Some employers offer other health insurance options for younger spouses of retired employees as well. Your health plan administrator can help you understand your spouse’s choices. Your spouse may also buy individual coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace until he or she turns 65.
If Your Non-Working Spouse is Older
Your older spouse may qualify for Medicare on your work record at age 65, even if you are not getting Social Security or Medicare yourself – but only if you are at least 62 years old. That is because you qualify for Social Security at age 62. You don’t have to actually file for Social Security benefits in order for your spouse to get Medicare; you just need to be old enough to file if you wanted to. If, however, your spouse is more than 3 years older than you then he or she may buy Medicare Part A until you turn 62 and the premium-free benefit kicks in.