Heading into the golden years is a time of excitement and apprehension for many men and women. Retiring sounds good to most people, but things like navigation health care can bring on some anxiety when they don’t quite understand Medicare.

There’s a lot of retirees turning 65 that believe that Medicare in completely free, but that’s not the truth. There are different parts of Medicare, and only Part A is typically free – though not for everyone.

Medicare Part A is a type of hospital health insurance for men and women over 65.  This part of Medicare covers hospitalization. 

People that paid into Medicare taxes usually don’t have to pay a premium each month for Medicare Part A.  You may have heard of this termed “premium-free Part A”. 

If you’re wondering if you will get Part A free, the following are conditions in which you will have to meet:

  • You get Social Security benefits already when you’re 65.
  • Either your spouse or you already have government employment that is Medicare-covered.
  • You are eligible to get Social Security.
  • You worked at least 40 quarters of work in which you paid Social Security taxes.
  • You’re eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits.
  • You’re married to someone who qualifies for free Part A Medicare.
  • You worked for the federal government after December 31, 1982.

If you’re not 65 yet, you may still get Medicare Part A free if you already receive Social Security or have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

As of 2019, Medicare Part A is free if you worked for 40 quarters or 10 years and paid into taxes. If you worked 7.5 – 10 years, your monthly premium will be $240. If you worked less than 7.5 years, your monthly premium is $437.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB)

For those who have a low income, you may want to check to see if you qualify for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program. If you do qualify, you may be eligible to receive Medicare Part A and Part B free.  

Start Saving For Health Costs Now

While Medicare Part A might not cost you money, Parts B, C, and D will. Be sure you’re socking some money away for your retirement and healthcare costs down the road. Whether that’s in a health savings account or your retirement account, it’s smart to think ahead and get your finances going in a direction that best suits you.

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