As you or a loved one approaches 65, there are many questions about Medicare. The first is usually the simplest: do I qualify for Medicare?
There’s a lot of misinformation about Medicare and who qualifies. Today, we’ll break down the qualifications for Medicare eligibility and options you have for checking your eligibility at any time.
Medicare Eligibility Requirements
Medicare is available for:
- People aged 65 or older
- Younger people with disabilities
- People with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant)
For most people, they will become eligible for Medicare once they turn 65. However, it’s a good idea to start doing your research before you turn 65.
But What if I…
…haven’t worked long enough?
A common area of confusion is work history – to qualify for Medicare Part A, you normally need to have earned about 40 “credits” or “quarters” by paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes while working (about 10 years of work). So what happens if you have less than 10 years of work history?
Work history only impacts your premiums, not your eligibility. In other words, if you’ve worked less than 10 years, you are still eligible for Medicare, but you may have to pay premiums on Medicare Part A. If this applies to you, we recommend speaking with us to discuss your options.
Your eligibility is not affected by your medical status. Any pre-existing medical conditions, disabilities or other medical concerns will not make you ineligible. Your medical history only impacts your coverage needs. Since Medicare only includes certain medical options, you may need to look into a Medicare Advantage plan or supplemental insurance to ensure coverage for your monthly medical costs. We’ve cover this topic and more in our 4 Myths About Medicare, Answered blog.
…have immigrated to the United States?
Eligibility for Medicare will depend on residential status. As long as you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least 5 years, you will be eligible for Medicare. However, if you have less than 10 years of work history, you may have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A coverage. For more information about this, contact our agents today.
If you are not a permanent resident or have not been a resident for at least 5 years, you are not eligible for Medicare. However, you can become eligible later. For example, if you become a resident of the United States at age 62, at age 67 you can be eligible for Medicare coverage. However, you may have some more costs for your Medicare. If this situation applies to you, we recommend contacting our experts to discuss your options.
How Can I Check My Eligibility?
If you’re still not sure if you qualify for Medicare, you have two options to check:
- Check Online: Medicare.gov has a free edibility tool you can use to see if you’re eligible for Medicare. Just follow the prompts to find out if you’re eligible. Click here to find out if you’re eligible.
- Check in-person: If you’d rather speak to a Medicare agent, our team is well-versed in all Medicare and insurance options. Contact us today to set up an appointment or simply speak over the phone.