There are two groups of people eligible for Medicare—those aged 65 and older or those with a disability.
How does Medicare eligibility work? And, once you know you’re eligible, how do you enroll? Let’s take it step by step.
Medicare for Those Aged 65 and Older
The most common and likely familiar way individuals become eligible for Medicare is by age. As you prepare for retirement, old age, and life without your group health insurance through your employer, Medicare is there to save the day.
Anyone aged 65 or older is eligible for Medicare. You must also be a legal United States citizen or be married to one.
Here’s another good thing to know—you may also be eligible for premium-free Original Medicare Part A. Almost everyone is eligible, and chances are you are or will be as well. You’re eligible as long as you have worked for ten years while paying Social Security taxes.
You do not have to be retired to qualify for Medicare. As long as you are at least 65 years old, you can enroll even if you’re still working and/or have your group health insurance. If you decide you want both your employer and Medicare insurance at the same time, you may do so. If your employer plan has more than 20 members, it will cover its share of your healthcare costs, then Medicare will contribute its portion to the rest. If it has less than 20 members, it will simply be the opposite.
Medicare for Those with a Disability
Even though qualifying by age is the most common, you can still qualify under age 65 if you have a qualifying disability. However, keep in mind that the term “disability” used by Medicare in this context does not refer to your standard idea of a disability. Instead, it means any health condition that prevents you from working for an extended period of time.
To qualify under age 65, you must first earn 24 months of Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) due to your inability to work. You will not receive benefits for partial or short-term disability.
Enrollment and Eligibility
Now that you know how you’re eligible for Medicare, how will it affect your enrollment? If your 65th birthday is coming up, you’ll want to prepare to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It starts four months before your 65th birthday and ends four months after. If you’re working, you can delay enrollment without any late enrollment fees.
And, if you’re retired at the start of your IEP, you should be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). If you’re eligible based on a disability, you should be automatically enrolled on your 24th month of SSDI.
Caring for You and Making Life Easy—Call Secure Insurance Group
We’re just getting started on your Medicare journey. To take your next step, call Secure Insurance Group at 1-877-871-7328.