Am I Eligible for Medicare / Qualifications and Cost

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    Richard Oppedisano
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    Steve – When looking at the Blog pertaining to New Hire Handbook I noticed some information pertaining to Medicare Part A and the reference to qualifications and cost. The Blog stated

    “ His discussion on Medicare, especially Parts A and B coverage, was informative. Did you know that Part A coverage is free only if you or your spouse had 40 quarters or 10 years of work under Social Security? This is significant for CSRS annuitants who worked in the federal sector their entire life and their spouse also has less than 40 quarters of Social Security time. Stan relates the situation on page 135, “People with less than 40 quarters may still qualify for Part A but will have to pay a monthly premium. In 2010, people who have 30 to 39 quarters pay $254 a month. With fewer than 30 quarters, the cost is $461 a month!“

    I thought I recalled that as long as you had Medicare Part A payroll deductions being taken from your payroll check you would automatically be eligible for Medicare Part A. I looked up an OPM question and answer web site and offer the following information on Federal retiree cost for Part A. Also remember, with few exceptions, all federal employees hired after Jan 1, 1983 are covered under FERS and therefore entitled to social security benefits upon retirement and it was mandatory that CSRS employees had Medicare Part A deductions. Therefore I did not see how the above statement was accurate for federal retirees.

    Q. Am I Eligible for Medicare?

    A. You are eligible for Medicare if you are age 65 or over. Also, certain disabled persons and persons with permanent kidney failure (or End Stage Renal Disease) are eligible. You are entitled to Part A without having to pay premiums if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment. (You automatically qualify if you were a Federal employee on January 1, 1983.) If you don’t automatically qualify for Part A, and you are age 65 or older, you may be able to buy it; contact the Social Security Administration. You must pay premiums for Part B coverage, which are withheld from your monthly Social Security payment or your annuity. You must be enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B before you can enroll in Part C. You must be enrolled in either Part A or Part B before you can enroll in Part D. The cost of any additional premium will vary depending on the Part C or Part D plan that you select.

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