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Unlike employer-sponsored group coverage, your spouse cannot get Medicare based on your Medicare eligibility if he or she does not otherwise qualify for Medicare coverage. Your spouse must qualify for Medicare by age or disability to receive Medicare coverage.
The minimum age for Medicare eligibility is 65 years old unless you qualify through disability or certain conditions. You must be either an American citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. If your spouse is under 65 but has been receiving disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, he or she will automatically qualify for Medicare in the 25th month of receiving disability benefits. Your spouse may also qualify for Medicare before 65 through end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
If none of the above situations apply, your spouse may have to wait until age 65 to be eligible for Medicare. In the meantime, if your spouse doesn’t have coverage through an employer, he or she may be able to purchase health insurance through a private insurance broker like eHealth.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.