What Happens if You Don’t Qualify For Part A
Some people have not worked, for some reason or another, for the required number of qualifying quarters that would make Medicare Part A free. For those people, there are still some solutions.
First, you can pay by yourself. Depending upon the number of quarters that you have worked, you can qualify by paying a monthly premium. If you have worked for 30-39 quarters, that monthly premium is $243. If you have worked for less than 30 quarters, then the amount $441.
Second, if you have very limited financial resources, then you may qualify for governmental assistance. For example Qualified Medical Beneficiaries is one of multiple tiers of governmental assistance available via Medicaid. If you are a QMB, then you may receive assistance in paying for this premium.
If you attempt to qualify for governmental assistance, then you can expect to be audited, because there are financial net worth requirements. Please note that the quality of audit, etc can vary wildly, even if the rules are clear. This is the reason that Maximize Your Medicare does not go into great detail regarding assistance programs (other than the Extra Help program). It has been my personal experience to observe that the treatment from case-to-case is subject to huge variation.