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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16840
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Elder law question If two over-65 Medicare recipients marry,

Customer Question

Elder law question: If two over-65 Medicare recipients marry, and one requires long-term care, does Medicare consider the other spouse's pensions as part of their joint income? If I understand it correctly, Medicare considers the couple's assets as belonging to to both parties. Also, are the answers different in counting Social Security as opposed to counting other pensions? I live in Florida. I'm not married, but am considering it. Your response will affect my decision.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 7 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

Customer :

I await your answer

Customer :

I'm not worried, I'm annoyed. You're telling me he's, "probably just gathering some information." Maybe he is. Maybe he's answering a question that came in after mine.

ScottyMacEsq :

I am still reviewing the law here. I am still with you, but I want to provide you with a thorough and complete answer.

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, medicare considers the couples assets together. It is based on the gross income of the couple, which if they are filing jointly, is not going to spell out which party or pension the funds come from.

ScottyMacEsq :

Social security is counted in gross income, but only the taxable portion of the social security.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now the income standards for medicare double for a married couple, if that is a concern.

Customer :

I wasn't annoyed with you. I'm annoyed with those messages from JustAnswer.

ScottyMacEsq :

I agree with you... they can be annoying at times.

Customer :

I don't understand some of your terminology. I am a college graduate, but I'm a layperson as far as the legal profession is concerned. I don't understand the use of the words "spell out" in, "It is based on the gross income of the couple, which if they are filing jointly, is not going to spell out which party or pension the funds come from." Also, I should have told you that neither party is required to pay income tax. Can you please rephrase your answers accordingly? After we clarify the "spell out" phrase, I will explain the next one that I don't understand.

ScottyMacEsq :

What I mean by that, is medicare looks at your gross income. When you are married filing jointly, it's going to have one single number. By "spell out" I mean specifically list which spouse had what contribution and from what source. It is not going to do that, but rather just have a single number (the adjusted gross income).

ScottyMacEsq :

Does that clear things up?

Customer :

No, it does not clear things up. I understand what you mean if the couple is filing jointly. I am talking about a situation where neither person has taxable income. This is not hypothetical. Neither I nor the person I am consider marrying has had, nor will have, taxable income. Can you answer my question and omit all references to income tax.

Customer :

My pensions are from Social Security, the country with which I have dual citizenship, and the state in which I worked before retiring.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry for the confusion. No, you cannot lose medicare eligibility. The cost of the insurance premiums could go up, and will count your income (not taxable, but actual income from pensions, etc...). But you won't lose your Medicare eligibility. The only way for that to happen is upon death.

Customer :

I didn't think I could lose Medicare eligibility. I am trying to determine whether -- if my spouse required long term care -- Medicare could demand any part of any of my pensions. I own nothing else.

ScottyMacEsq :

No, it could not, other than the premiums that you would otherwise pay.

Customer :

by "other than the premiums that you would otherwise pay" are you referring to Medicare, part B?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes.

ScottyMacEsq :

Which is based on your income.

Customer :

OK. I do pay Medicare Part B premiums and expect to continue paying them for the rest of my life. Now I feel my question has been satisfactorily answered. Thank you.

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