Can I Lose My Medicare Coverage If My Spouse Dies?

Our readers always write into us with some of the most interesting Medicare questions. We do our best to answer them all. Let’s take a look at this question.

Q: Can I lose my Medicare coverage if my spouse dies?

A: Your spouse dying will not affect your Medicare eligibility. Unless of course you inherit a large amount of money from your spouse when he/she dies, and this amount of money is substantial enough to detrimentally change your income positively. You are approved for Medicare on an individual basis. Your spouse dying will not likely affect your eligibility in most cases.

Q: Can I lose my Medicare coverage if my spouse dies and I do not file any claims with the SSA?

A: You do not need to file any “claims” if your spouse dies. Medicare will continue on regardless of the status of your spouse. The only situation in which the death of a spouse will be truly relevant in Medicare eligibility is the case stated above. Otherwise, you should have no major problems with Medicare should something happen with your spouse.

Q: Can I lose my Medicare coverage if my spouse dies, and are there any benefits I can collect?

A: This is the third time this month that our readers have asked this question. You can submit your spouse’s death certificate to Social Security. Medicare may give you a better policy if you can prove to the SSA that you are eligible for survivors benefits. This could come in the form of an increased amount of monetary coverage on your prescriptions, hospital insurance policy, or other parts of the Medicare ordinance.

It is important to remember that you should notify the SSA when a change of spousal contribution/income is relevant. The SSA will ask for photo identification and other essentials. Processing fees apply to sending death certificates and photo identification scans over the web, and it is recommended to visit your local SSA office instead.

One Response to “Can I Lose My Medicare Coverage If My Spouse Dies?”

  1. Please advise of correct options and penalties if they apply. thank you…dianne guyette

    I have a client who is having some issues with switching Med Supp Plans.

    Her husband recently passed and they had a FEDERAL Blue Cross/Shield med supp that was great, but the cost increased to over $600/mo after his death. She received a notice that she had 31 days to switch it (don’t know exact date of letter) and she contacted both regular blue cross/shield and united healthcare to sign up for a new plan to replace it. She was proceeding with the United healthcare plan, but she has had a few hangups:
    United wouldn’t accept her enrollment paperwork with the letter from Blue Cross she had that said she had 31 days to change as proof of disenrollment. She had to request that from the Post Office (where he used to work) and it will take 4-6 weeks to get her the disenrollment papers
    She also was unsure how to answer some of the medical questions. There is a section which asks if in the past 2 years any Dr. made a medical recommendation for a medical condition which was not followed through on with treatment. If this is the case, it says she is not eligible for their plans at this time. Her son is coming over to help her with a CD/DVD she has with her medical records on it so she can see if there was anything that might apply for that exclusion.