Generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).

You are eligible for Medicare if you are a citizen of the United States or have been a legal resident for at least 5 years and: You are age 65 or older and you or your spouse has worked for at least 10 years (or 40 quarters) in Medicare-covered employment.

You can receive Medicare health insurance benefits even if you have never worked. … However, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is age 65 or older, under age 65 with a disability or have permanent kidney failure, you can receive Medicare benefits through means other than your own employment history.


Additionally, you qualify for full Medicare benefits under the age of 65 if you:

  • Have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months
  • Receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board and meet certain conditions
  • Have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS). You qualify for Medicare the month you become entitled to Social Security disability benefits, there is no waiting period
  • Suffer from permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant — and you or your spouse has paid Social Security taxes for a specified length of time depending on your age
  • Have a severe illness, injury or disability that prevents you from earning more than a certain amount of money each month and you’ve been approved for Social Security disability benefits for a total of at least 24 months, which don’t have to be consecutive.


How do People with Disabilities Enroll in Medicare?

People who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits should receive a Medicare card in the mail. This will arrive  when the required time period has passed. If this does not happen or other questions arise, contact the local Social Security office.

If it seems that Medicare enrollment or coverage has been unfairly denied, ask the individual’s doctor to help.

Not sure if you qualify? Are you turning 65 or under 65 and think you might be eligible for benefits? Talk to our licensed specialists. It’s completely FREE to talk to us and see what benefits you might qualify for. Learn more about what Medicare benefits are available to persons under 65.