Will There Be Subsidies for Medicare Coverage?

The new health care laws have generated more questions than answers so far. Medicare recipients may wonder if there are any subsidies to help people who cannot pay Medicare premiums. The Affordable Health Care Reform Act did not include Medicare subsidies, nor are such subsidies supposed to be added in the future.

A person who qualifies for Medicare due to age can still buy the insurance if he has fewer than 40 quarters of work history. Subsidies may exist to help a person whose income is up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level for the United States.

What About Work History?

Medicare coverage rules, as stated above, require a person to have 40 quarters or about ten years of work history. The number includes the total history, it does not have to be cumulative. However, there are limits to this coverage. It only covers hospitalization. A recipient must still pay premiums for Medicare Part B and D.

Medicare subsidies do not apply people who qualify for the program because they are on disability. Recipients who receive social security because they are temporarily or permanently disabled all under a different set of guidelines.

What About State-Run Medicare Coverage Subsidies?

Each state has its own programs in place to help low-income people. A state may have a program in place to help a person who does not qualify for Medicare coverage under Part A pay for his or her premiums. Residents of each state can find out what programs are in place by contacting their assistance officer or the Department of Public Welfare or similar agency.

At least at the moment there are no plans for the federal government to offer Medicare subsidies. Politics and politicians frequently change their mind and their positions. A subsidy may come along some day.

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