If you are an older adult in the LGBTQIA community, it is important that you understand how Medicare works. Medicare is a national health insurance program that people who are ages 65 and older and who receive Social Security can use to help to pay for their medical care. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can help you to understand Medicare and the rights that you might have.
How Medicare works
Medicare pays for medical services that are necessary such as doctor visits, surgeries, lab tests, and supplies. It has four parts, including the following:
- Part A – Hospital insurance, including hospital care, rehabilitation facilities, hospice, skilled nursing, and home health services
- Part B – Medical insurance to pay for medically necessary services and preventive care
- Part C – Private plans to supplement parts A and B
- Part D – Prescription drug coverage
Most people who are ages 65 or older are entitled to receive Medicare Parts A and B if they receive Railroad Retirement benefits or Social Security benefits and have worked for a long enough period of time to be insured for Medicare. They can also receive it if they are entitled to spousal benefits from their spouse’s work record, and the spouse is at least age 62. To receive Medicare parts C and D, you must be receiving parts A and B.
The LGBTQIA community and Medicare
Since Medicare was designed to provide care for retired workers, you must participate in the workforce to receive it. This can pose a problem for members of the LGBTQIA community because they are marginalized and may have trouble securing continuous employment in the traditional workforce. Other problems can also exist for transgendered people such as getting identity documents that are gender-appropriate.
It is possible for you to pay a premium to purchase Part A. People who have worked between 7.5 and 10 years can pay a premium of $254 per month for Medicare Part A. The premium is higher for those who have worked for fewer than 7.5 years.
Legal relationship status and eligibility
The partners of LGBTQIA workers who are in the workforce may still face difficulties with eligibility for Medicare. Most people are able to get Medicare based on their own work records or those of their spouses. Disabled children and spouses who are younger than 65 may be able to get Medicare after they have completed a 24-month qualifying period. This means that your marital status may affect your partner’s eligibility to receive Medicare.
Following the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that struck down state bans on same-sex marriages, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry. However, only same-sex couples who are legally married are able to gain Medicare based on their spouses’ records.
Enrolling in Medicare
The ability to enroll in Medicare is important for older adults, including members of the LGBTQIA community. If you have questions about your eligibility, the professionals at Elder Care Direction can provide you with some guidance. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form so that you can learn more about your eligibility for Medicare.