Am I Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare is an expansive health care option, but one that’s not available for everyone. How do beneficiaries know if they are eligible to enroll?

Isn’t it based on age?

There are actually a few boxes that beneficiaries can tick to be eligible for Medicare. The first of these is to be 65 or older. This is the simplest way to qualify for Medicare.

I’m not 65. Does that mean I can’t enroll?

No, that is not always the case. While being 65 is the most common way to qualify, it’s not the only method. If beneficiaries receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), they will be automatically enrolled into Medicare once they roll into the 25th month of receiving SSDI checks. One exception which begins the beneficiary’s eligibility immediately is if they have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS.

Additionally, they are eligible for Medicare if they have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and are undergoing dialysis treatments or receiving a kidney transplant.

Are there other criteria?

There are other factors that affect what beneficiaries will pay for their coverage. If they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes during at least 10 years of work, they qualify for “premium-free” Part A coverage. If beneficiaries do not have enough credits, they can still get Medicare, but they must pay for their Part A coverage.

Finally, to qualify, they must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident who’s been here for at least five years. Beneficiaries automatically qualify if they were a Federal employee on January 1, 1983.

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