Medicare eligibility includes those who:
- Are 65 or older
- Are under 65 with disabilities and
- have End Stage Renal Disease.
You also have to be enrolled in Social Security to qualify for Medicare.
Don’t mix up Medicare with Medicaid. The main thing is that Medicare is mostly for senior citizens, and Medicaid is mostly for people of low income. There are exceptions to both, of course.
Original/Traditional Medicare has two parts, Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
Is Part A Free?
You are eligible for premium-free Part A if
- you are age 65 or older and
- you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:
- You are receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but you have not yet filed for them.
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.
Medicare Eligibility and Premium Tool
There’s a really cool tool on Medicare.gov that helps you find out your Medicare eligibility, and what your expected premium will be. Check it out!
What if I have to buy Medicare Part A?
You may be able to buy Medicare Part A if
- Neither you nor your spouse paid Medicare taxes while you were working, AND
- You’re 65 or older AND
- A citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
If you’re under age 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:
- You’ve been entitled to Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
- You’re a dialysis or kidney transplant patient.
While most people don’t have to pay a premium for Part A, everyone has to pay for Part B if they want it. The Med Supps don’t even cover that anymore, unless you still qualify for Part F.
The next natural questions are WHEN can I get Medicare? and Am I enrolled in Medicare automatically?
And don’t miss what is NOT covered by Medicare, or you may not get the coverage you need!