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Medicare Eligibility

Most people think of Medicare as a health insurance program for senior citizens. While it’s true that the majority of Medicare participants are over the age of 65, there are multiple ways to qualify for Medicare.

Over 65 Eligibility

As mentioned, the first way to qualify for Medicare is to be 65 or older and a citizen of the United States or a permanent legal resident for at least five years. You must also be eligible to collect Social Security based on how long you have worked. Over the term of your employment, you will likely be paying into Social Security or Medicare benefits with your tax dollars. The longer you work, the greater your contribution, and thus the greater your coverage will be by the time you reach 65. If you did not accrue enough work time for full coverage, you will likely still be eligible but must pay a premium for Medicare Part A coverage. If you are a government employee and did not pay into Social Security but did pay taxes to Medicare, you will also be eligible.

Under 65 Eligibility

If you are under the age of 65, you can still qualify for Medicare if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are eligible to receive or have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. 
  • You receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
  • You have permanent kidney failure and require dialysis or a kidney transplant


If the circumstances listed above apply, you may still need to meet certain requirements or have paid into social security for an allotted amount of time. 


Suppose you are over the age of 65 and a citizen of the United States for at least five years but did NOT contribute the required amount to secure Medicare coverage. In that case, you can still receive coverage by buying Medicare insurance. You will likely need to pay separate premiums for each part of your Medicare insurance. Additionally, you will not be able to get bundled Medicare Advantage insurance or buy Medicare Supplemental insurance without buying both Parts A and B. 


Part D (prescription coverage) is available with the purchase of either Part A or Part B.

Are You Eligible?

If you’re interested in learning more about what makes you eligible for Medicare, reach out to The Benefit Link today. Our experts will make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and enroll on time.


There is no charge to clients for our services. We would be honored to help walk you through this process!

Any questions? Feel free to give us a call.

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