Although, most people know that Medicare benefits start from age 65, but very few are aware of the fact that they need a minimum number of quarters to avail those benefits. Therefore, it is important to keep track of the total number of quarters that one has earned. Actually, it is necessary to keep track of these quarters because anyone may get a maximum of only 4 quarters per year. This also means that it may take up to ten years to get 40 quarters required to get full Medicare coverage.
If someone earns at least $920, they are eligible to get one quarter, every year. Thus, $3680 per year totals 4 quarters. Forty quarters, earned in a lifetime, will cover Medicare Part A. In order to find how many quarters has one earned, the easiest method is to read your Medicare statement. Every Medicare statement reports the total number of quarters earned.
If someone does not have the required 40 quarters, another method is to pay a monthly fee of approximately $375 which will entitle them to get Medicare. Note that these supplemental rates may change according to the existing health policies. Alternately, you may check to see if your spouse has earned 40 credits. Therefore, if you are married for at least a year then it is possible to get Medicare benefits just because your spouse has got the necessary 40 credits. The law also provides Medicare coverage to widows, disable and certain other needy individuals without requiring them to get the full 40 quarters. Call the Social Security office to inquire about your eligibility.