I just started receiving my ex-husband's Social Security widow death benefit. Because it bumped up my income, I lost my DPW Medical Assistance because I know longer qualified. Will I also now have to pay for Medicare Part A in addition to buying a supplement to replace M.A.? It was my understanding that Part A is a government- covered program and that I would only have to buy Part B -- the supplemental per cent that Medicare Part A does not pay. Can you clear this up for me?
Medicare eligibility does not begin until you reach age 65, unless you have been entitled to certain types of Social Security disability benefits for at least 2 years. Since you are eligible for Social Security benefits, you will not have to pay a premium for Part A Medicare coverage. Part A of Medicare helps to cover hospital inpatient charges.
Part B of Medicare is optional, and helps to pay for outpatient care (e.g. doctor bills). You do have to pay a premium if you sign up for Part B of Medicare.
There are Medicare supplement plans offered by various insurance companies, which can help pay for Medicare deductibles and co-insurance. Some of these plans are referred to as Part C, or Medicare Advantage plans, and they have varying premium rates.
And finally, there is Part D of Medicare, which is prescription drug coverage. Part D plans are also offered by private insurance companies, and have varying premium rates.
For more information on Medicare, refer to Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/.