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What is the Age of Eligibility for Medicare?

eligibility for Medicare

Medicare was created to help cover the cost of certain healthcare services and is open to people around the age of 65 and those with certain disabilities. The program is divided into four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. To enroll in the Medicare program, you must meet the eligibility requirements.

Being Eligible for Medicare by Age

Once you are 65, you become eligible to enroll in the program. If you or your spouse worked for at least ten years and paid taxes into Medicare, you will qualify for premium-free Part A. 

You’ll also be automatically enrolled in Part A if you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you will need to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period always starts three months before your 65th birthday and lasts for seven months in total. 

If you currently receive coverage through your employer, you will have two options: go ahead and enroll in Medicare once you’re eligible or choose to delay your enrollment. If you work in a company with less than 20 employees, Medicare will serve as the primary insurance. However, since Medicare would serve as your primary insurance in this situation, you would want to enroll as soon as you were eligible, otherwise, you would have late enrollment penalties for delaying your enrollment.

People who work at companies with 20 or more employees can choose to delay their Medicare enrollment when they become eligible at age 65. In this case, you would qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enable you to enroll for Original Medicare if you delayed your Medicare enrollment. If you have no work history, you can still receive Medicare benefits at age 65 based on your spouse’s employment record.

Eligibility While Under 65

You can receive Medicare while under 65 under two circumstances; social security disability benefits and having ALS or end-stage renal disease. If you receive disability benefits from Social Security for up to 24 months, you will become eligible to enroll in Medicare even while under 65. Your Medicare coverage will begin on the 25th month. If you have end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, there is no 24-month waiting period to enroll in Medicare.

At My Healthcare Direct, we’ll help you get the best policy for your coverage needs. Contact us today to get your Medicare coverage started.

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