Throughout their working years, many people choose to take health insurance through their spouse’s plan. However, when it comes to Medicare, individuals qualify separately. Thus, it doesn’t matter if your spouse or domestic partner has Medicare if you aren’t yet eligible.

Can You Get Medicare Through Your Spouse?

Each person qualifies for Medicare individually. Therefore, being married to someone who is already on Medicare won’t make someone Medicare eligible.

Additionally, your other non-eligible family members also can’t receive Medicare when you do. In this way, Medicare is unlike the health care plans for which you sign up through employers.

A person is only eligible for Medicare if any of the following applies to them:

  • Attainment of age 65
  • Receipt of Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits for 24 months
  • Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

The only way marital status affects your Medicare is when it comes to the number of quarters you need to pay Medicare taxes to receive premium-free Part A. If you aren’t married, you’ll need to have paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters (ten years) on your own. Eligible married couples get premium-free Part A when at least one spouse pays these taxes for ten years.

Can My Non-Working Spouse Get Medicare Coverage?

If your spouse doesn’t work, they can get Medicare coverage only if they’re eligible on their own. Once your spouse is Medicare eligible, they’ll get Part A premium-free if at least one of you paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of ten years.

Beneficiaries who struggle with health care costs can apply for a Medicare Savings Program. For married couples, these programs consider the dollar amounts for your combined monthly income and resources.

A married couple’s combined resources are considered for Extra Help with Part D prescription drug coverage. Further, a married couple may be eligible for Extra Help if their resources exceed the limit, but they support (a) family member(s) living in the same home. 

Apply for Medicare Through Spouse

Jagger Esch

Medicare Expert

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

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