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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Medicare Beneficary with Younger Wife

(Posted February 26, 2004)

Question 389: I am a retired rail worker; I will be 65 in June 2004. But my wife will only be 57. Both of us are unemployed. Can Medicare (Plan A+B) cover both of us after June 2004?

Answer: Unforurnately Medicare is an individual benefit, so it does not cover other family members who are under 65. Your wife will need her own health insurance policy until she becomes Medicare-eligible at age 65.

You should ask your former railroad employer if it provides health insurance benefits for your wife. Otherwise she will have to get her own policy or join a managed care or HMO arrangement until she reaches 65.

The AARP provides such coverage for people over 50. But such coverage usually is more expensive than group health insurance and usually provides far less coverage and benefits.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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