After working and paying your taxes for a certain period, you may qualify for Medicare government health insurance. If you have not worked the minimum amount, you may have to pay a monthly premium for your Medicare coverage. Depending on how many credits you have accumulated from your past paychecks, the cost of the deductible may vary.
Additionally, your spouse may also be able to qualify for this premium-free insurance coverage from Medicare if you qualify. The more Medicare benefits you have earned from working, the less you will have to pay for your insurance coverage. Continue reading to learn more about how you can get Medicare free of cost.
Based on the amount of Medicare credits you have earned you may either qualify for Medicare Plan A with no premium, a reduced premium, or the full premium cost. The Medicare program allocates credits for each calendar quarter you were employed and pays taxes for the minimum earnings.
For instance, in 2023 you are eligible to receive 1 Medicare credit for each calendar quarter where you earned over $1,510. The maximum amount you can earn per year is 4 Medicare credits.
You are required to sign up for Medicare as soon as you are eligible to do so if you must pay a premium for your coverage. If you are fully covered by Medicare, you will automatically be enrolled in the program. If you are not fully covered, you may have to pay a delayed enrollment penalty if you do not apply in a timely manner.
Note: Applicants who meet the requirements for a special enrollment period will typically not be required to pay a late charge for Medicare.
A special enrollment period can include when you lost a job, and you lose your group coverage provided by your employer. It is important to be aware of when the initial and special enrollment periods for Medicare will be operating.
Here are the open and general enrollment periods to apply for Medicare:
- For your Medicare coverage to begin on July 1st, you must enroll between January 1st and March 31st.
- For Medicare Part D, and a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) you must enroll between October 15th and December 7th. Coverage will begin on January 1st of the following year.
The Medicare program will delay coverage if you sign up in the last three months of your enrollment period. Depending on when you sign up, the amount of time your coverage will be delayed may vary.