Medicare EligibIlity

Age 65 is when most people are eligible for Medicare. Other criteria, however, enable you to be eligible to receive Medicare benefits. For instance, if you’ve been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months, you’re eligible.

What Do I Need to Be Eligible for Medicare?

At 65: You qualify for Medicare coverage at 65 years of age if you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you’ve lived in the U.S. continuously for at least five years.

Under 65: You can qualify if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re permanently disabled and you’ve been receiving Social Security disability income benefits for 24 months
  • You have end-stage renal disease
  • You have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Medicare Eligibility for Part A

You’re eligible for Medicare Part A coverage at no cost at age 65 as long as you or your spouse has worked for at least 10 years in the U.S. If you’ve worked in the U.S. for less than 10 years, you can buy Part A coverage.

When you enrolled in Social Security, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. If you haven’t done that yet, you can contact the Social Security office to enroll. Your Medicare card typically arrives approximately one month before you turn 65.

Medicare Eligibility for Part B

You’re eligible for Medicare Part B at age 65 as long as you or your spouse has worked for at least 10 years in the U.S., but need to pay a monthly premium. Medicare determines the amount of the Medicare Part B premium, and it may be higher or lower according to your income.

Medicare Eligibility for Part C

You’re eligible for Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage if you first enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Once you determine your Medicare Part A and Part B start dates , you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Eligibility for Part D

You’re eligible for Medicare Part D as long as you enroll in either Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. In addition, you can enroll in Medicare Part D with only Part A. You can also enroll in a Medicare Part D plan with only Part B.

Am I Required to Sign Up for Medicare?

This question comes up a lot, and the short answer is no, you don’t have to enroll in Medicare. However, health insurance coverage is a necessity these days, and penalties will apply if you delay your Medicare enrollment.

Also, if you’ve worked 10 years in the U.S., you’ll get Medicare Part A coverage for free. And if you enroll in Social Security income benefits, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A after turning age 65.

Questions? Concerns?

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare page. We’d be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns so you can make the best decision regarding Medicare eligibility – just contact us.

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