Does Medicare Cover a Younger Spouse?

Learn if Medicare will cover your younger spouse

by Katie Banks+ on Aug 25, 2015 | 34 Comments

Medicare is federal health coverage for those 65 and older and for those younger than 65 with a disability, but what happens with a younger spouse’s health coverage when you enroll in Medicare? Many Medicare-eligible persons wonder whether their younger spouse (especially non-working younger spouse) will be covered by Medicare.

Does Medicare Cover Younger Spouses?

Medicare does not cover younger spouses, unless they have a disability, until they turn 65. There are a few options for your younger spouse to maintain health insurance, especially if they do not have their own job-based insurance:

    1) You can continue working until your younger spouse meets Medicare requirements, and delay your Part B enrollment
    2) You can enroll your spouse in your retiree insurance (if eligible), possibly delaying Part B
    3) Your younger spouse can gain employment that offers job-based insurance
    4) Your spouse can get a quote for an individual health plan and more than likely enroll with an Obamacare Special Enrollment Period

Does Medigap Cover Younger Spouses?

Not only does Medigap not cover younger spouses, Medigap can be difficult and rather expensive to enroll in before 65 with a disability.

If you decide to enroll in Medicare when you’re first eligible at 65, Medigap can fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. Some of these gaps are Medicare’s deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and an additional 365 hospitalization days.

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Younger Spouses?

Medicare Advantage does not cover younger spouses that are not eligible for Medicare. However, younger spouses who have a disability can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. This might be a good choice for a younger spouse to limit their out of pocket costs and have extras offered like drug, hearing, vision, and dental coverage. The only real downside is they would be limited to a local, HMO network, instead of the nationwide Medicare/Medigap network.

Learn More about Medicare AdvantageGet a MA Quote

To learn more call a Senior65 agent at 800-930-7956.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Angel on February 11, 2019

My wife currently has medicare insurance due to her medical disability (ERSD). She will be turning 65 this July 2019. Does she need to re-apply for medicare? What do you recommend the best option to take? I am currently employed and have my company insurance. I will also be 65 in December. I have been working since 1979. What do you also recommend for our situation? Thanks you

Based on the information you shared, her Medicare coverage should renew automatically with no need to re-apply.

If you plan to continue working then you might want to keep your employer's insurance in addition to Medicare. If not, then she should consider enrolling in a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan. You can get a Medigap quote here. We would love to help you understand and enroll so when the time comes please give us a call.

-Chris from

By Mildred on January 05, 2019

I am a retired CA teacher age 63. My husband will be 65 in May. I know he qualifies for medicare. I want to know will I be covered when I turn 65? We have been married 45 years.

Based on the information you have shared you should qualify for Medicare when you turn 65. You will be eligible for premium-free Part A once you are 65 if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

Most people purchase additional coverage beyond Medicare Part A and B. If you would like help researching Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D drug coverage, please contact us at There is no hidden charge or fee to work with our team of licensed independent agents.
-Eric from

By Miguel on November 13, 2018

I am 72 under medicare, I have just got married and she does not qualify for medicare. Can she gets my medicare benefits ?

If your wife is under 65 then she will not qualify for Medicare.

By Charles on September 24, 2018

I am 75 yrs old, retuired, and enrolled in a Medicate Advantage Plan (which includes my membership in Medicare Part A. My wife turns 62 next week and friends are telling her that she has to enroll in Medicare Part A now, even though she is continuing to work and has employer-paid health plan for herself. Please clarify - does she have to enroll in Medicate Part A (in order to protect her rates later as her friends are advisiing?)

Unless your wife has certain disabilities she CANNOT enroll in Medicare part A when she is under 65.

Hope that helps,
-Eric at

By Deb on March 14, 2018

My husband turns 65 this June. I will be 61 in May. I have read that my husband will have to pay for Medicare part A until I turn 62. We have had insurance as a retiree from his company. They require him to sign up for Medicare A & B and they would be secondary insurance. His part of the premium has skyrocketed. If he has to pay for Medicare A & B as well as our premiums there is no way we can afford it.

Could your husband waive insurance from the company and purchase a Medicare Supplemental plan instead? That might save him a lot of money. Since your situation is very specific, please give us a call and we exhaust all your options.
-Chris from

By Michael on February 27, 2018

I am 66 and retired; but covered under my wife's (age 62) health plan at her work. She is considering retirement now at age 62; but will continue with her job because she will earn less than the maximum allowed under Social Security guidelines. Since she is PART TIME only, to cover me on her insurance has been so expensive. If she RETIRES; but continues with the same job, is that life altering experience enough for me to DROP off her health plan and pick up Medicare Plus Plan on my own? We would save about $800 a month with better overall coverage.

Yes Michael, when she switches to part-time you should be able to purchase a Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Drug plan. We can help you review plans, prices and enroll over the phone. Please call us at 800-930-7956
-Michelle from

By William on November 28, 2017

I'm retiring at 62. I can maintain my healthcare plan with my employer until age 65 at which time it ends. My wife works part time and is not eligible for coverage. Will she need her own separate coverage from age 62-65 until she is eligible for Medicare?

Yes, your wife will have to purchase a traditional health insurance plan (non-medicare) until she turns 65.
-Eric from

By Paul on November 14, 2017

My wife is a retired public school teacher. I too am retired and we are on my wife's health plan.

She turns 65 seven weeks before I do, and has to go on Medicare. Will I still be covered by her public school health plan for the seven weeks before I turn 65, or do I need to take out a short term health policy? Thank you Paul

This varies by employer. Contact your wife's HR to find out how they handle your situation.
-Michelle from Senior65

By Kathy on September 15, 2017

My wife (same-sex legally married) is 57 years old and is currently on Social Security disability. I am also 57 years old. I am working full-time and have health insurance through my employer, but it is very expensive. Before my wife went on disability, I was on her employer's insurance. She is on a SS Advantage plan. Can I be added to her advantage plan or do I have to maintain my own insurance through my employer? thanks for your help! Kathy

You cannot be added to your wife's Medicare Advantage plan. Both Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are single subscriber plans so spouse and dependents cannot join them.
Hope that Helps
-Chris from

By Bernadette on June 20, 2017

I am retired and have insurance from the USPS which also covers my husband, When I turn 65, he will be 57, If I go on Medicare I can still keep my retirement insurance as a secondary insurance, but will my husband still be fully covered under the BS/BS plan or will he have to purchase insurance from his job which does not have as good coverage as our present plan.

This is a question for your current insurer. Because most large companies are self-insured, they set their own rules. Sometimes they have rules that allow both of you to stay on the plan, sometimes the opposite is true.
-Amy from

By Susie on June 20, 2017

I am 61 and divorced three years ago. My spouse is 55. and works full time for more than 10 years. I was the stay at home carer but have only a part time job. Will I be able to get Medicare part A when I turn 65?

If you or your spouse worked and paid into Medicare for 40 quarters, you'll be covered.
-Amy from

By Jammie 2001 on June 19, 2017

Hi I retired from the railroad and my wife and i both draws a pension through the United States Railroad Retirement Board. I got medicare when turned 65 but my wife is 4 years younger than i. She draws 1/2 of my pension but cant aford the Obama over priced and under covered benefits. But still have to the penality for her not having Health insurance. She is a dibetic and need some coverage what options are aviable. Every time i look to see if we can get a plan for they say with our total household income no help except full priced health plan with a very high deductiable.

By Bill on June 12, 2017

I am 77 years of age and have both medicare part A & B as well as SS. My Wife is in her 50's and a green card holder at this time. She will soon be able to apply for citizenship. She has never worked here in the USA. Can she be covered under my medicare once she reaches 65 years of age even if she is not an American citizen?

Green card holders are eligible to receive Medicare benefits if they have been here for five years, and they or their spouse have worked the qualifying quarters. Hope this helps!
-Chris from

By Frank on June 04, 2017

I am retired and will turn 65 in 2018. My wife is disable (past 9 years) but she did not qualify for Social Security disability benefits because she did not work long enough to accumulate the quarters needed. For the past 25 years she has been a homemaker and has NOT worked. We do not qualify for SSI. I have enough quarters for Medicare but I worked for a municipality that did not take out for Social Security. Can my wife sign up for Medicare due to her disability when I turn 65? She will be 59 years old then.

You will want to contact CMS directly to find out if she will qualify. Sorry we can't help you any better!
-Eric from

By ginny on April 20, 2017

My husband receives Medicare Part A free and pays for Part B. He does not receive social security. I never paid into Medicare. Two questions - Am I eligible to receive the same benefits he receives? Will the benefits continue if he predeceases me?

He may not receive Social Security, but he has paid into Medicare, and clearly worked 40 quarters. As his spouse, you should qualify for Medicare Part A premium free and pay for Part B. If you need help finding a drug or Medicare Health Plan call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By DM on March 20, 2017

My husband and I are both permanently disabled and not able to work, from an accident three and a half years ago. He was 68 and already on Social Security, it forced him to retire and gets Medicare A & B, along with insurance through his retirement. I didn't qualify for SSD as I was not working for a couple of years immediately prior to the accident. I am currently on health insurance from his retirement plan, with a lot of medical issues and will be signing up for Social Security when I turn 62 in a few months. Can I get Medicare for being disabled but, not on SSD? If so what is the waiting period? Will the coverage be the same as when I turn 65? Thanks for any help.

There are few things to consider here. The first is that if you sign up early at age 62 you will not get your full social security payment, and therefore may want to wait until age 65. You will need to contact the Social Security office to find out specific information about your benefits.

In most states, if you enroll in Medicare before the age of 65 you will have limited Medigap options, and you can be charged more or denied coverage due to your age. So while Medicare's coverage is the same for all enrollees, Medigap is a different animal. You may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. For help with a Medicare health plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By Tasvir Shah on March 18, 2017

Me and my wife have a group insurance at my work. I also have HSA account. I turn 65 in August and plan to continue to work. What are my options as far as Medicare part A is concerned as my wife is younger and is not working.

You will want to enroll in Medicare Part A, and if you have creditable coverage through work, you may want to delay Part B. If you continue with your job-based insurance, your wife will be allowed to stay on your plan. If you choose to leave your job-based plan, your wife can enroll in an on or off Exchange plan during a Special Enrollment Period.
-Michelle from

By Wayne on March 13, 2017

I am 66 and still working. My wife is 50-year-old, full-time home-maker. She does not meet the 40 medicare credit points requirement. Will she be eligible for free-premium medicare when she turns 65?

Medicare is based off if you or your spouse works for 40 qualifying quarters. So, she should be covered when she joins Medicare. As always, you will want to contact Medicare to confirm.
-Amy from

By Steve on February 22, 2017

I just retired @ 65 and my wife will be 62 in May and is thinking of retiring also. Is there any way she can be covered under my medicare plan?

Unfortunately, no. To be Medicare eligible you must be 65 or over, or younger with certain disabilities (and you or your spouse must have paid into Medicare for 40 quarters). If you need help enrolling in a Medigap or other Medicare Health plan or if she needs help finding a plan for someone under 65 have her call our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from

By tina on February 21, 2017

I will be turning 65 and we have had insurance coverage from my employer since I retired at 57 now what does my younger non working spouse do? can we continue to utilize my insurance for him?

Your younger spouse can stay on your work plan, if allowed, and if not allowed, your spouse can enroll in an off or on Exchange plan. If you either you need help enrolling in a Medicare Health plan or your spouse needs help enrolling in an ACA plan, please call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from

By john hang on January 31, 2017

I will be 65 later this yr and will sign up for Medicare. My wife is 60 and we currently have an individual health plan together. What are her options in terms of: - continuing her coverage on an solo basis with the same company - possibly changing her coverage with the existing company or changing to another company One would think this would qualify as a "life change" event but need to be sure. Been trying to get someone on the phone for the last 2 days but have been on hold forever. Thank you.

Thank you for your question. Your wife would be able to maintain her individual plan without you. She would be able to change her plan, if her income changed which qualified her for subsidies or disqualified her for subsidies, but just because you left the plan, it would not be a qualifying life event. If you need help finding a Medicare health plan or comparing your wife's options, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from

By Randy murray on January 04, 2017

I am 57 and have been on disability for 3 years now I'm getting Medicare and Medicaid. My wife is 29 can she get the same as I'm getting.

Your 29 year old wife can join Medicare if she has a disability. If she is financially needy, she may qualify for Medicaid. If not, she can go to our Medicoverage health insurance site for individuals under 65.
-Chris from

By Jean on November 30, 2016

RE: Medicare My husband is 58 and working full time with a large corporation. I'm 63, have not been employed the past 20 years due to medical & physical problems, and have medical coverage through his employer. I do not receive Social Security or Disability. Wondering if I can remain on his employer's medical insurance or will be required by law to enroll in Medicare prior to my 65th birthday?

You definitely can delay your Social Security, and if you have creditable coverage you can delay Medicare Part B and not owe a penalty.
-Chris from

By James Lutz on October 29, 2016

I will be 65 in March. It is my understanding I can sign-up for and receive Medicare Part A and Part B effective January 1. However I can not sign-up and receive supplemental (part C) coverage until March 1. QUESTION NO 1: Is this also your understanding? QUESTION NO 2: Do I also need to wait for March 1 to obtain part D drug coverage?

While you can sign up for Medicare, it will not begin until your 65th birth month, unless you have certain disabilities that qualify you for Medicare under the age of 65. So all of your coverage: Medigap and Part D will also not begin until then. If you go to our Medicare deadline calculator it will explain all of your dates. If you need help finding a plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By Terry Madden on August 22, 2016

I'm 62 and working at a company that has group medical insurance including a creditable prescription plan which covers both my wife and myself. My wife turns 65 this October. My question - does my wife need to sign up for Medicare Plan A.

Most likely your wife will want to enroll in Medicare Part A (as job-based insurance usually supplements Medicare Part A), but delay Part B -but only if she is still covered by your group insurance (and its considered creditable coverage). When she's ready to enroll in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan have her give one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from

By Richard Kosmisky on July 12, 2016

I am presently on Medicare due to a disabling injury suffered while on the job. My wife has as of 1 year ago had some very serious issues the least of which she could have died from , my question is she is now 60 1/2 years old and the Dr 's have said that it is unlikely she will be able to return to the type of work she did , an LPN, and have recommended that she apply for SSDI can I get her coverage through my SSDI or do I have to get a second policy for her

You will want to contact Social Security directly to find out what she qualifies for. If she does qualify, and would like to enroll in a Medicare Health Plan (Medigap or Medicare Advantage), please call us at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By Raul Olivas on May 17, 2016

I have been on ss disability for the last 10 years. My wife turns 62 this year and will eligible for ss on my account. My question is will she be eligible for medicare thank you

If you have worked for more than 40 quarters and your wife has been on disability for 24 months, she should be Medicare eligible. If she needs help finding a Medicare health plan have her call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from

By Steven Doyle on May 15, 2016

I turn 65 in June. I do not have a group policy but pay for an individual insurance policy for my wife and myself. She is only 59 but not in great health so is rated on our policy. If I sign up for medicare and drop my present policy, what can i do about her health benefits?

Totally understand your concern. Your wife can continue on her individual policy, even though you're moving on to Medicare. The only thing you need to do is let your insurance provider know that you will no longer be covered. Then you will want to decide on which Medicare health plans you need for yourself, so that they begin on June 1st. Please call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 to help learn more about Medicare insurance.
-Eric from

By Timothy Koceja on April 11, 2016

I will turn 65 nineteen months before my wife. The health insurance from my former employer will end when I turn 65. My employer did not take social security from my earnings and I only have 19 quarters from a previous job. Can I receive medicare under my wife even though she will not be 65. Thanks

Yes, a spouse or child can receive Medicare benefits from their spouse or parent, even if the qualifying parent/spouse is not enrolled in Medicare. You will just need to sign up for Medicare, and then contact one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 to help you enroll in a Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and/or Part D plan.
-Amy from

By Mike Daniel on February 16, 2016

I am a retired teacher who will turn 65 in April. My wife is disabled but did not qualify for Social Security disability benefits because she had not accumulated enough points during the 10 years before the onset of her condition. When my present coverage ends March 31, so will hers. What are our options in this situation? Thanks

Your wife should likely be eligible for benefits when you start taking benefits. At that point, she may be able to enroll Medicare after 24 months on disability. Prior to disability she can enroll in an individual plan or Medicaid (if eligible). Click here to get an individual bronze, silver, gold, and platinum quote.
-Eric from

By Judy on November 02, 2015

I will soon be 65 and have recently received my Medicare card. My husband is 66 and doesn't have enough working quarters for Social Security or Medicare .He has been paying for parts A and B since he turned 65. He has 39 quarters in Social Security and Medicare and currently is not able to earn the extra needed quarter. Can he now be eligible for free Part A coverage because of me? I have Medicare but not Social Security benefits.

Thank you for your question. From the information you have given, it appears that your husband should qualify for Medicare through you, and receive Part A premium-free. Hope this helps!
-Amy from

By J.L.Smith on September 27, 2015

I'm 67. I enrolled in Medicare part A at age 65. My wife is about to reach age 62, and has Multiple Sclerosis and no longer works. Is there a way to enroll her on MY medicare until she turns 65, then enroll her on her Medicare?

Your wife should be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B after 24 months of social security disability benefits. At that time, she can enroll in a Medicare Advantage, or, if she qualifies, a Medigap plan (if your state offers them for those under 65).
-Amy from

By George Gilbert on September 24, 2015

Traveling for a week into USA; I'm 68 & have basic Medicare for myself while in the states ,but my wife who is younger than 65 has only Insurance coverage from our residence country that does not insure in the USA! If treatment is needed n the USA would she be covered under my Medicare?

Thank you for your question. Medicare does not cover spouses under 65, unless they are disabled. You may want to look into travel insurance for your wife. Hope this helps!
-Eric from

By Hal on August 28, 2015

I'm 62 and disabled. Have been for 2 years and just enrolling in Medicare. Can I get Medigap?

You can apply for Medigap, however you will need to answer medical questions, and will pay more than when you turn 65. The good news is, you'll have guaranteed enrollment, regardless of preexisting conditions, when you turn 65.
-Jacima from

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