Non-working spouses and Medicare

Stephen – Mass.: I will soon turn 65 and plan to get Medicare. My wife also will turn 65 but she has been a government employee and only has 38 quarters of work during which she paid Social Security payroll taxes. We just called Social Security and were told that she does not qualify for Medicare on her own but would qualify under my Social Security record. Is this true? Is there any difference in her being accepted under her own record and mine?

Phil Moeller: She doesn’t need 40 quarters to qualify for Medicare but she does need 40 to get premium-free Part A. Otherwise, it costs a bundle. Fortunately, she does qualify as your spouse, and will be treated no differently than if she had qualified on her own earnings record.