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Married Same-Sex Couples Can Now Apply for Medicare

Married Same-Sex Couples Can Now Apply for Medicare


The federal government announced new rules for Medicare today, in its continued implementation of last year's Supreme Court ruling on marriage recognition.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated Medicare rules so that couples in same-sex marriages can apply for benefits covering hospital stays and physician care.

The new rules "help to clarify" the effects of the Supreme Court's decision last year striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act and therefore allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today in a press release.

The Social Security Administration, which determines Medicare eligibility and handles enrollment, can now begin processing requests for Medicare Part A and Part B Special Enrollment Periods, and reductions in Part B and premium Part A late enrollment penalties for certain eligible people in same-sex marriages, according to the press release. Part A covers hospitalization, Part B doctors' care under Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Find out more about the application process here.

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