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Transcript: "Do You Have to Pay to Get Medicare Part A and Part B?"

Announcer: The Newman family is sitting around the family computer. They are the father, Dan, 65 years old, his wife Jean, their son Mark and daughter-in-law Beth. Dan recently became entitled to Medicare. He and his family are discussing the Medicare program and some resources on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov to help Dan understand his Medicare options.

Jean: Can we see how much Medicare costs?

Beth: Oh, sure. Ok here it is. Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance, is free for most people because they already paid Medicare taxes while they were working. Now, Medicare Part B is different. You choose whether or not you want Medicare Part B.

Jean: So Part A, the hospital part, is free for Dan, but what about me? I spent my life taking care of you and doing a lot of volunteer work. I never paid any Medicare taxes.

Beth: Okay, it says here that this information refers to both the person receiving the benefits and the spouse.

Jean: Great! So that means I can get Medicare when I turn 65.

Announcer: Most people don't have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A because they or their spouse paid Medicare or FICA taxes while they were working. FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. It's the tax withheld from your salary, or that you paid based on your self-employment income, that funds the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Dan: But what about my sister Barbara? She only worked for a few years because she decided to stay home and take care of my mother, after my father passed.

Beth: What it says here is that those people that didn't work the required amount of time may still be able to get Medicare Part A, but they will have to pay a monthly premium.

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