One of the biggest questions people have about Medicare is: Am I eligible for Medicare? There’s a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is that there are three groups of people eligible for Medicare: people 65 and older, younger people with End Stage Renal Disease, and younger people with disabilities. Read on to learn more about the long answer.
People 65 and Older
The biggest group of Medicare recipients is people 65 and older. Of the 61 million enrolled in Medicare in 2019, 53 million were enrolled because they were 65 and older. In order to be considered eligible due to age alone, you must be 65 and older and fulfill the following criteria:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years.
- You or your spouse must have worked to earn 40 credits – usually at least 10 years – during which you paid Medicare taxes.
Younger People with Disabilities
You can qualify for Medicare even if you’re not 65. To qualify for Medicare as a younger person with disabilities, you must have a disability according to Social Security and also:
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years
- Must have been entitled to Social Security Benefits for at least 24 months (not necessarily consecutively); or
- Receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions; or
- Have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease.
People with End-Stage Renal Disease
The last group of people eligible for Medicare are people with End Stage Renal Disease, ESRD. These are people whose kidney function has deteriorated to the point that they need dialysis or a kidney transplant. In order to qualify, your doctor must document your ESRD. You must also:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years.
- You and/or your spouse must have paid social security taxes for a certain length of time depending on your age.
Three groups of people are eligible for Medicare: people 65 and older, younger people with disabilities, and younger people with ESRD. Depending on which group you belong to, you must also meet the requirements described above. For any and all Medicare questions, contact us at Generations Insurance today.