Simple ways to keep your Medicare coverage if you get divorced

Divorce sometimes is a complicated matter altogether; even if both the spouses have prepared their minds to face the inevitable, there are other factors as well – especially legal – that does not get wind up quickly. Issues like rights for property, responsibility over credits and future of existing privileges or contracts signed when the spouses were married, might need a different approach altogether before it can be said that any feasible solution can be drawn. Here we talk about the future of Medicare coverage after the spouses getting divorced.

Many a times, after divorce, the spouses ask – Can I keep my Medicare coverage if I get divorced? The answer is yes, but with certain conditions. But, before addressing the doubt, let us see what Medicare is all about.

Medicare is a national insurance scheme in US meant to serve senior citizens aged above 65 or people who are disabled. The Medicare plan was conceived in 1965 by the passage of social security amendments and is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Medicare scheme includes two parts – Medicare A and Medicare B – the first one being compulsory hospital insurance and the second one is optional where the user can choose if he/she wants to subscribe the government-assisted insurance program that covers doctor’s fees. Medicare is financed by a part of the payroll taxes paid by the employers and workers. Monthly premiums deducted from social security cheque also go into funding Medicare.

Now back to the point of discussion – Can I keep my Medicare coverage if I get divorced? Yes, you can, but subjected to certain conditions. Based on your ex-spouse’s work record, you become eligible for Medicare once you reach 65 years of age, if your spouse has worked long enough in a federal, state or local government job where Medicare taxes were paid. Also, those divorced spouses below 65 years are eligible for Medicare coverage, but after a 24-month qualifying period during when you must have received social security benefits. But, after divorce if you have remarried, then you would be no longer eligible for your ex-spouse’s Medicare coverage. Also if you have paid Medicare taxes by yourself while you were working, then you will continue to get Medicare privilege, irrespective of your present marital status.

To conclude, a person is eligible for Medicare coverage based on the ex-spouse’s work record in terms of meeting the Medicare criteria other than having his/her own separate Medicare qualification. But the important aspect in this context is to remain aware of the various rules and schemes that facilitate such rights. To be eligible and fail to claim the right due to unawareness is the worst thing that can happen to a person. In simpler terms, it is all about being informed about one’s own rights and prepare accordingly so that nothing goes amiss due to one’s ignorance. Take Care!