I'am about to turn 65 in Feb. I WENT TO APPLY FOR MEDICARE AND WAS TOLD I didn't have the right number of quarters. In 1998 when I turned 50 thay sent me a statement saying I had the min. in cash benafits and about 300.00 in medical benfits , Should I pay the part B and sup. D. our wait for HEALTH CARE REFORM. Thank you E. Freeman
Social Security said I would have to pay the premiums my self our makeup the quarters I'm short. OK. Can I pay the Quarters with my income tax refund, No, you can't "buy" additional quarters. Quarterly earnings credits (and you need 40 of them over your lifetime to be eligible for Medicare) are earned from working. You can earn up to 4 in one year, 1 for every $1130 you make in WORKING income. Depending on how many credits you are short, is how long you'd have to work. For instance, if you were only 1-4 credits short, if you earned the $1130 to $4520 asap, you could be eligible within 3 months. If you were 5-8 credits short, you could earn $4520 this year (to gain 4) and $1130-$4520 next year (even all in one month if you wanted) - to gain the other credits. You need not work all year to gain all 4 credits each year, you can work summer only or whatever works, to earn the sufficient amount of income upon which you'd pay your SS taxes and gain your credits.
our wait for health care reform. Health reform occurred and it didn't change this requirement, so I am not seeing where health care reform will help here. In fact, I believe the health care reform extracted hundreds of billions of dollars out of the medicare system over the next few years, making it less giving, unfortunately.
Now, if you don't have "creditable coverage" elsewhere (health insurance) once you are 65 and NOT on Medicare, you will later be charged a premium penalty when you DO sign up for Medicare - 10% higher premium cost for EVERY year you didn't have coverage after hitting 65. For this reason, if you don't plan on getting medical insurance elsewhere (via a job, private purchase, etc.) that counts as "creditable coverage", you should likely strongly consider paying your way into Medicare at age 65.
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