A blog about Medicare. What you and your employees need to know
Correct- Short on Medicare Work Credits?
Author: Lora Drummond
Medicare Transition Specialist
[13-52] Correct – Short on Medicare Work Credits?
Recently we held a 123EasyMedicare.com workshop for a large group of local municipal employees. A question came up that got a lot of heads nodding….
What to do if someone doesn’t “qualify” for Medicare Part A?
First of all, to dispel confusion in the question, we explained that to “qualify,” Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with certain medical conditions like End-Stage Renal Disease. You must also be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident (green card holder) who has continuously lived in the United States for at least five years.
What they were really asking was: What to do if they didn’t earn enough Medicare work credits for Part A (hospital insurance) to be premium-free? Can they still get it?
How does a person get Medicare Part A premium-free:
The short answer is, you can get Part A (hospital insurance) premium-free if you have worked and paid Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes equal to at least 10 years of working time. You can also qualify for premium-free Part A based on your spouse’s work history if you don’t have enough work credits yourself as long as you have been married for at least 10 years. You would both still enroll separately, but neither spouse pays for Part A.
That work history would earn you the 40 quarters/credits necessary to get you Part A premium-free. The payroll taxes you paid while working cover your Part A premium. By the way, this is the only ‘Part’ of Medicare that your payroll taxes can earn you a free-premium for.
If you have certain disabilities, you may be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A benefits also, even if you’re under 65 years old.
What if you and your spouse didn’t earn enough work credits?
You can still get Part A when you are 65, but you would need to pay the Part A Premium for it (as you will for Part B if you decide to add medical coverage to your Medicare plan).
Per Medicare.gov, if you buy Part A, your monthly premium is about $471 a month in 2021 if you paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters. If you paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $259.
Remember, if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or buy Medigap/ supplemental insurance, you must have Part A and Part B.
If you continue to work and pay into your payroll taxes and earn the minimum 40 credits, you might be able to eliminate your Part A premium. Some municipal employees who retire from service earlier than age 65 take other jobs just to earn the work credits needed to be eligible for premium-free Part A when they turn 65.
Need guidance on how to support your employees with other possible scenarios and helpful solutions?
Our Certified Medicare Planners® have more than 20 years of experience helping employees create Medicare transition plans BEFORE they need to enroll. We are ready to help!
Medicare guidance for your employees in 2021.
Create a compliant Medicare benefit support plan. Give your employees personal guidance from a team of experts that will follow them after they retire.
You can receive helpful Medicare resources, and tips and tricks to build your Medicare transition strategy just by signing up to receive a blog article a week delivered to your email. ( We promise only one per week and you can opt-out at any time)
Plus get early notifications of any NEW helpful resources and Medicare news! SIGN UP BELOW!
Your Medicare Transition Partner
Subscribe to Medicare@work
Other Posts from Medicare@work
You don’t need to match your spouse’s plan when picking a Medicare plan. You can pick a plan based on your specific needs.
Medicare Annual Election Period is near; Medicare advertising is increasing. Consult experts so the changes you make are appropriate for YOU- not based on when advertising says you need.
Medicare changes every year. Doctors can leave networks. Avoid surprises with a complementary review of your Medicare during AEP. Enjoy this success story where we solved a client’s dilemma when he lost his doctor without warning.
When you enroll in Medicare Part B, you get a Welcome to Medicare wellness gift to use during the first year of membership!!
When learning something new, it’s best to take things in steps. With Medicare it’s best to start with basic education as the first step.
Medicare’s AEP provides an essential opportunity for folks to find out if the plans they are on are still appropriate for their needs – or they can change their plans.
Many of our clients will ask, “Which is more popular? A Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement and a drug plan?” The answer should be based on each individual’s needs, not what’s popular.
When Medicare information comes from a trusted HR resource, like a CMP, partnership leads to employee confidence.
Employees enrolled in Medicare or anyone you know enrolled in Medicare need to be cautious in responding to any solicitations they receive.
What can folks do when they retire and are on Medicare, and then want to go back to work and enroll in their employer’s health benefits.