After premium-free Medicare coverage ends due to work (see Medicare Continuing Coverage), some people who have returned to work may buy continued Medicare coverage, as long as they remain medically disabled. (Some people with low incomes and limited resources may be eligible for State assistance with these expenses – see below.)
You are eligible to buy Medicare coverage if you:
· Are not yet age 65;
· Continue to have a disabling impairment; and
· Your Medicare stopped due to work.
You can buy Premium Hospital Insurance (HI Part A) at the same monthly cost which uninsured eligible retired beneficiaries pay; and you can buy Premium Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI Part B) at the same monthly cost which uninsured eligible retired beneficiaries pay; or you can buy Hospital Insurance (Part A) separately without Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B). You can, however, buy Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B) only if you also buy Hospital Insurance (Part A).
The premium amount in 2012 for HI Part A is $451.00 per month. The premium amount in 2012 for SMI Part B is $99.90 per month. In 2011, the monthly premium for HI Part A was $450.00, and the monthly premium for SMI Part B was $115.40, although most people paid $96.40 due to the hold-harmless provision.
You may qualify for a reduction in the amount of your premium for Hospital Insurance (Part A) if you:
· Have 30 or more quarters of coverage on your earnings record; or
· Have been married for at least 1 year to a worker with 30 or more quarters of coverage; or
· Were married for at least 1 year to a deceased worker with 30 or more quarters of coverage; or
· Are divorced, after at least 10 years of marriage, from a worker who had 30 or more quarters of coverage at the time the divorce became final.
The reduced premium amount in 2012 for HI Part A is $248.00 per month for those who meet the above criteria. It was also $248.00 in 2011.
Help With Medicare Part A Premiums
If you are under age 65, disabled, and no longer entitled to free Medicare Hospital Insurance Part A because you successfully returned to work, you may be eligible for a program that helps pay your Medicare Part A monthly premium.
To be eligible for this help, you must:
· Continue to have a disabling impairment;
· Sign up for Premium Hospital Insurance (Part A);
· Have limited income;
· Have resources worth not more than $4,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a couple, not counting the home where you live, usually one car, and certain insurance; and
· Not already be eligible for Medicaid.
To find out more about this program, contact your local, county, or State Social Services or medical assistance office. Ask about the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI).
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