Medicare is one of the most popular health insurance here in the states. As a recipient, you usually get premium-free cover on part A (or hospital) insurance, which helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital. Even better, you might qualify to get free cell phones for seniors on Medicare
, as well as service- also at no cost.
In this short article, that’s what we’re going to briefly touch on in case you or a person you know on the program truly needs a phone.
Medicare Alone Isn’t Enough
While, indeed, it’s a federal program, Medicare usually settles the medical bills using the trust funds that you’ve paid into over the years. Also, it mostly serves older people, 65 years and over, whether you have a low, average, or high-income level.
Meanwhile, a free government cellphones provider like Safelink usually targets underprivileged individuals. That’s those households with a low income (below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines) or participating in a government assistance program. So, Medicare alone isn’t enough to qualify you for the lifeline program.
If you’re to get a free government phone with Medicare, you also must satisfy either of the lifeline eligibility requirements. This includes falling within the low-income level we’ve just mentioned or participating in one of the federal assistance programs. Some of these programs include Medicaid, Food Stamps, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, supplemental security income, et cetera.
Medicare-Social Security Loophole
In many cases, there’s no direct mention of the Social Security Benefit (SSB) as a qualifier into the free government phones program. What catches the headlines mostly is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which usually offers payments to the seniors or disabled with limited income and resources.
Nonetheless, SSI, SSB, as well as Medicare are all under the Social Security Administration. However, the SSB and Medicare program will only be available to you based on your payments during your employment tenure. If you or rather your employer never withheld your Medicare and Social Security taxes, your “retirement” trust funds wallet will be empty. And so, you won’t get the social security payments or Medicare cover during your retirement.
On the other hand, you should have a “secured retirement” if you made all the payments for your Medicare and Social Security taxes. The government usually calculate these taxes based on your earning, which gives you the credits (40 credits required) that accounts for both Social Security and Medicare.
Meanwhile, it’s possible to get a free government phone through Social Security Benefits. And since it also counts toward eligibility for the Medicare insurance program, you should be able to qualify for the no-cost phone as well.
The 5 ways you can get Free Phone through Medicare + Social Security
• Retirement Benefits
You can get the free phone if you’re receiving social security payments and Medicare coverage during your retirement.
• Disability Insurance
You can also get a free phone if you’re on Medicare and have been receiving social security disability insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 months.
• Spousal Benefits
It’s also possible to get a free lifeline phone if you’re eligible for Medicare at age of 65 and also spousal social security benefits. That’s if the earning history of your partner is enough for the forty credits.
• Widower/ Widow Benefits
In a nutshell, you also qualify for a free phone if you’re a widow or widower under the social security benefits of survivors. And so is the eligibility for the Medicare program.
• Dependent Parents Benefits
Last but not least, one can also receive the social security benefits based on a deceased/ disabled child’s earnings. And so, you can also get a free phone if you’re eligible for this benefit and Medicare.
So, can you get a free phone if you have Medicare? Well, indeed, it’s possible to qualify for the federal lifeline program if you’re on the Medicare health cover, but not alone. You also need to fulfill the lifeline eligibility requirements by either participating in government-funded assistance programs or having a low income.
Even so, the easiest way to qualify for a free phone through Medicare is you’re also eligible for the social security benefits. However, the age for the full retirement benefits (66 or 67 years) no longer coincides with that for Medicare enrollment (65 years). So, you might be forced to apply for an early retirement claim, which will mean that you’ll get a reduced social security payment.