Do You Qualify for Medicare?

Are you able to qualify for Medicare? This is a common question that does not always have a cut and dried answer. Let’s look at whether you are able to qualify or not.

First, you have to be at least 65 years old or older. In addition, you need to be a United States citizen or permanent resident. You or your spouse needs to have worked long enough to be eligible to receive Social Security benefits as well. This generally amounts to at least ten years of work, or 40 credits. This sounds simple enough, but it can become a bit more complicated. Now that you know the basics, we can get into some of the other ways that people may qualify.

It is possible to qualify for Medicare on a spouse’s work record in some cases. In this case, you will still need to be at least 65 years old. He or she will need to be at least 62 years old. It’s also possible to qualify in some instances on the work record of a spouse you divorced, as well as a deceased spouse.

Can You Qualify When You Are Not 65?

In some cases, it may actually be possible to qualify for Medicare even if you are not yet 65 years old. You will need to have been able to receive Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months. It is important to know that these do not have to be consecutive months. Other qualifications can include receiving a disability pension for the Railroad Retirement Board, having Lou Gehrig’s disease, or permanent kidney failure and you or your spouse also having paid Social Security taxes for a certain period.

Most people will receive annual statements that come from the Social Security office. These statements often have information on them that let you know whether you are eligible for Medicare or not.

It can be confusing to know whether you are able to receive Medicare benefits or not. However, this short and simple guide should give you a good idea of where you stand when it comes to qualifications. If in doubt, you can contact an expert in the field, or you can simply apply to see if you may qualify for the service or not. Whenever in doubt, you can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213. They will be able to help you if you still have questions regarding your eligibility.