Most people are eligible for Medicare beginning at age 65. Eligible people include workers with Social Security credits, spouses of those workers, and others with disabilities.
You qualify for Part A (Hospital insurance) if:
- you are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits
- you are the spouse or divorced spouse of a covered worker
- you are a government employee who paid the Medicare tax
- you get Social Security disability benefits for 24 months (no time requirement for ALS)
- you have permanent kidney failure
- you have an asbestos-related disease and spent at least 6 months in Lincoln County, MT 10 or more years before diagnosis
If you don’t fit any situation in the above list, you may be able to purchase Medicare Part A coverage.
Unlike Social Security Retirement and Survivors benefits, there is no advantage to waiting to claim Medicare benefits. You should contact Social Security to claim your benefits 3 months before your 65th birthday. This will ensure a smooth transition from your current insurance coverage to Medicare.
There are four “Parts” to Medicare coverage. Some of them overlap and each has separate rules of eligibility.
You qualify for Part B (Medical insurance) if:
- you qualify for Part A and choose to pay for the Part B coverage.
You can get Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) if:
- you have both Part A and Part B, then you can choose to pay for Part C.
You can get Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) if:
- you have Part A or Part B and choose to pay the additional fee. This is covered in many Medicare Advantage plans (Part C).
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