Some parts of Medicare are free for everyone, while other parts may only be free to people who meet certain income requirements. Read on to learn more about these requirements and find out who qualifies for free Medicare.
You do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A coverage if you meet certain qualifications by paying into the program. This is because Medicare tax fees are based on a percentage of your income, not on a fixed amount.
Luckily, you do not need to have paid $10,000 or $1,000,000 in taxes in order to qualify for Medicare. The rules for the program are much simpler than that.
This is how it works: You pay into the Medicare program through taxes of your income earnings. Then, your employer automatically deducts your portion of the taxes from your paycheck. And, your employer also contributes the same amount of Medicare tax on your behalf.
For example, since the current Medicare rate is a total of 2.9 percent of your income, you and your employer will each pay 1.45 percent of your income.
If you are self-employed, then you will pay the total 2.9 percent because you are both your employer and employee.
To qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, you or your spouse must have paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters. Quarters are 3 calendar months, so 40 quarters equals 10 years.
If you paid Medicare taxes for only 30 to 39 quarters, you will pay $278 monthly for Part A coverage as of 2023.
However, you will pay the full premium amount if you paid, in total, less than 30 quarters at the time in which you applied for Medicare Part A.