Social Question

Aster's avatar

Would you send flowers for a wedding under these circumstances or a card?

Asked by Aster (19883points) June 10th, 2012

My best childhood friend , 60, is marrying her long-time boyfriend, 75, this weekend for one reason: he wants to obtain Medicare on her account even though he’s very wealthy. They’ve been living together for thirty five years and he always refused to marry her until his health began failing two months ago. Now he has tremendous medical bills he can easily pay but tries to avoid.
Would you send flowers or a card for this marriage for benefits? He says he doesn’t want flowers or music provided by the church; just the ceremony so he can get Medicare. He has never worked a day.

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29 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Of course not.
Perhaps a condolence card to your best friend.
How is she feeling about this?

Do you have your facts straight? At his age he has been eligible for Medicare for a long time.

She’s been with him since she was 25?

laurenkem's avatar

@Aster , maybe I’m missing something here. This man is extremely wealthy, yet he has never worked? Did he simply come into a large inheritance at a young age?

As far as the Medicare, I admit I’m clueless as to how it works; however, I always thought that once you’re of an age to qualify for Social Security, that you automatically become eligible for Medicare. Am I completely misled in this regard?

If, in fact, this would be true, then why would he need to marry your friend to qualify?

Edit: Regardless, if the man is too cheap to pay to have flowers at the church, then I absolutely would not “donate” them so that he can continue to hoard his money. Just send a card.

Judi's avatar

As long as there is no pre nup then the benefit to her is that she will inherit this money he’s saving.

SuperMouse's avatar

If the only purpose of this marriage is financial gain, I don’t see how well wishes of any kind are necessary.

cazzie's avatar

This sounds like one of the most unromantic things I have heard and that is saying a lot. The act of getting married null and voids any wills that are made previous to the wedding, so that might make a mess for him. I also think that a state that doesn’t recognise de-facto marriages after 35! years stinks as well. System is stupid. Forces fake marriages. You could send fake flowers, perhaps?

marinelife's avatar

Is you friend happy about the wedding? Then send her a congratulatory card.

Aster's avatar

@cazzie I agree it’s unromantic but she is trying to squeak a little romance out of it in her mind since it’s her only wedding. And I grew up with her so I don’t want to hurt her feelings.
@SuperMouse the second point of it, he claims, is to make it easier for her to claim his assets as her own.
@laurenkem it is all inherited money from a rich uncle. Seriously. His mother was also wealthy and on “the social register” if anyone knows what that is. They did not get along at all.

Aster's avatar

@marinelife Yes; she is sort of happy about it. I realize she feels more secure about it being easy to claim his assets whereas before it was iffy. He said she could wear something in her closet but she wants to find a new dress. I bet he never kisses her afterwards.

gailcalled's avatar

Where he got his money, earned or inherited, makes no difference. He has it now.

Recheck your facts about his medical insurance.

Your friend will inherit his estate only if he leaves a will saying so. He can give his assets to the Hare Krishni or the Foundation to Feed Leona Helmsley’s Cats if he so chooses.

Aster's avatar

He does not have medical insurance. He has been paying in the five figures for his hospital bill alone. His new dental bills will also be in the five figures. They own three houses. Well, one is hers.

cazzie's avatar

Wow. She is that desperate to have a sweet moment in this, eh? I think I would send a card to her expressing congratulations and wishes for continued happiness. The process and ceremony of getting married, for what ever reason, does mark a change in one’s life and still can be seen as a milestone in her life. If she wants it to be a romantic, important thing, it should be. (She should force him to take her on a honeymoon of her choosing.)

Aster's avatar

I am not sure if he’s up to a honeymoon. He was in the hospital for a couple months, a nursing home for a couple months and now has to have a colon polyp removed. Great answer, cazzie.

JLeslie's avatar

I would probably send a card, maybe a small gift. This is not her being taken advantage of, it is a scam on the government, using a loophole. If that loophole even exists? He is not eligeable because he never worked, but I thought people need to be married a minimum amount of years to collect benefits from a spouse, you have to be married for 10 years I think to collect spousal social securtiy. It will give her protections to inheritence from him. Depending on the state, even if he completely writes her out of the will, once married if they live together she will have at least some rights to the house, even if her name is not on the deed.

They have been together a long time, now they are legalizing it for legal protections, I don’t see a problem with it. This isn’t too people who don’t know each other who are purely getting married as a business deal. They aren’t friends who actually have other love interests, or strangers where one is being paid so the other can get working papers to stay in the country.

At least, that is how I took it anyway.

chyna's avatar

Since this is your best friend for many years, it is about her and her feelings. Even if it seems to be a farce on his part, you said she was excited. Do what you can to make this day special for her.

gailcalled's avatar

PS. Since she is only 60, she will not be eligible herself for at least two more years. If she wants the max., she needs to wait even longer. That does not take care of his immediate bills.

And for part of Medicare, you and your spouse’s income (even the tax-free stuff) is factored in; if you have enough, the premiums for Medicare B and D are raised accordingly

Do what feels best for you. It is indeed her day, no matter what has happened before or after.

Are you attending the wedding?

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Oh, I had assumed the OP was not attending because she mentioned sending a card or flowers, but of course she might be, because most weddings most people send the gift. Great question.

Aster's avatar

No; they are on the east coast and I am in Texas. So I am not attending. They have two or three close friends/family who are , though.
The waiting period comments were very illuminating . I may do some research on it. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster I think if he is eligible because they are married, it won’t matter that she is under 65 years of age, but if there is a minimum amount of years they must be married before he can be offered medicare, then that is where the problem most likely is. That’s my very less than expert guess on how it works. Let us know what you find out.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I agree with @chyna, it’s your friend and your friend wants to feel happy so be there for her and send her a card. How nice if her new husband would send his bride and a few of her friends on a fun vacation/honeymoon… without him, since he’s not in such hot shape right now. ;p

augustlan's avatar

She’s your friend, she’s happy to be getting married. Of course I would send a card! I would do the same for a friend even if I thought she was marrying the worst person possible for her.

gailcalled's avatar

If you, at 75 with no SSS, marry someone who is 60 and not yet eligible for SSS, you do not get Medicare. How can you?

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I am pretty sure my MIL who never worked received medicare when she turned 65 and her husband, my FIL, is 2 years younger than her. She only gets one part, part A or B? Not sure? Because she is not a citizen and never worked herself, but that is sort of irrelevant. I’m gong to try and find the spouse info on the SS website. I very well could be wrong.

chyna's avatar

Here is a link for Medicare requirements.

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie: I would be interested in accurate data, please.

I thought that A and B went hand-in-hand; A is hospital insurance and B is medical insurance. D is the drug plan; you register separately for that.

@chyna: Thanks

JLeslie's avatar

It looks like the working spouse needs to be 62, did you interpet @chyna‘s link the same way?

A and B are not hand and hand for nonworking spouses who are not citizens. Believe me I have spoken with mutiple people at SS and medicare.

JLeslie's avatar

I looked all over the government site to no avail. Frustrating. I did find this:

Medicare has four different parts of health coverage. Most American citizens are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare at the age of 65, and if they have paid Medicare tax, they are entitled to receive Part A coverage for free. As a non-citizen, you are not entitled to receive free coverage from Part A, since one of the requirements is to be a U.S. citizen. You are also not allowed to purchase Part A coverage. However, if you are not eligible to receive Part A (which is the case of a non-citizen individual), you are allowed to purchase Medicare Part B and pay monthly premiums for its coverage.

Source

But, the OP is probably American, so all that is moot.

chyna's avatar

So @JLeslie Your MIL shouldn’t be receiving Medicare?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Aster Send your best childhood friend a card and either flowers or a special gift with a meaning. How her beau views this ritual is unimportant if she, your friend, considers this an important milestone in her life. If need be, label it a bridal gift.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna She can’t get part A, the hospital coverage. She has coverage for seeing doctors. She also doesn’t have the prescription coverage. What confuses me about the link I posted is I had thought my FIL gets part A and B, but maybe not. I set up an appointment at one point for my FIL to file for SS. I help do some of it, and then they also do some on their own. My MIL already had her medicare, so I had not done anything for them, but then I was the one who brought up my FIL being eligible for his SS and I got that ball rolling and asked some Medicare questions, because I could not understand why my MIL did not have all the coverage.

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