Can My Wife Get Medicare Coverage Based On My Work History?

Sep 7 2017 - 7:14am

Dear Larry,
I am now an immigrant with greencard. I plan to divorce soon. I and my wife have a marriage of more than 40 years. I have been earning SS credits since I got green card. I am 71 years old and my wife 72. I can have 40 SS credits in 2021 to meet the SS credit requirements in order to enjoy medicare as ordinary American seniors. My question is if my wife ( divorced status in 2021 ) can enjoy the medicare as I because of our 40 year marriage ?
Thank you.

Hi,

Yes, if you have sufficient work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits then your ex-wife could potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits and Medicare coverage on your record, provided that she is either a U.S. citizen or legally residing in the U.S.

If you and your wife were admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence at least 5 years ago, then you are likely already eligible to sign up for Medicare. However, if you don't have enough work credits to be eligible for Social Security benefits then you would have to pay a monthly premium for Part A of Medicare, which is otherwise premium free for people who are eligible for Social Security benefits. For more information on Medicare eligibility, refer to this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10043.pdf.

Best, Jerry