Expensive Liz: My boyfriend’s ex-wife handed away final yr. Can he file for her Social Security advantages at age 48 even when she was remarried at time of her loss of life?
Reply: The ex’s marital standing doesn’t matter. What issues is whether or not or not your boyfriend was married to her for no less than 10 years.
If the wedding lasted no less than that lengthy, then your boyfriend can be eligible for survivor advantages at age 60, assuming he hasn’t remarried by then. If he’s disabled, he might apply at age 50. And if he’s caring for his ex-wife’s kids who’re below 16 or disabled, then he can apply at any age.
Recipients of survivor advantages can marry at age 60 or later with out dropping these advantages. (Observe that this marriage clause applies solely to survivor advantages. Individuals receiving spousal advantages based mostly on a residing ex’s work file can’t remarry with out dropping these advantages.)
Expensive Liz: You latterly wrote about Medicare Benefit plans, which regularly cowl issues like dental care, listening to and imaginative and prescient that conventional Medicare doesn’t. You talked about that the plans have networks of suppliers, however individuals ought to know that these networks don’t all the time embody the consultants they might want in the event that they develop critical well being points. The plans themselves can have copays that make it costly to get sick. If individuals need to change to conventional Medicare and get a supplemental Medigap coverage, they might face medical underwriting that would improve their prices.
Reply: Medicare Benefit plans are bought by personal insurers as an all-in-one different to conventional Medicare. The plans are definitely standard — the share of Medicare beneficiaries who join Medicare Benefit has been steadily rising through the years, partially as a result of these personal plans appear to cowl extra. However the plans can fluctuate extensively within the breadth of their networks and the way they share prices with beneficiaries.
When you’ve signed up for Medicare Benefit, switching to conventional Medicare could be problematic, as you famous. Insurers aren’t required to cowl you the way in which they’re if you first enroll. Some could decline to give you a Medigap coverage or could cost you extra, based mostly in your well being.
Liz Weston, Licensed Monetary Planner, is a private finance columnist for NerdWallet. Questions could also be despatched to her at 3940 Laurel Canyon, No. 238, Studio Metropolis, CA 91604, or by utilizing the “Contact” kind at asklizweston.com.