Medicare Eligibility

Medicare eligibility doesn’t have to be confusing.  

You can enroll in Original Medicare three months before you turn 65 until three months after the month of your 65th birthday. You can also enroll if you have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months. 

People who have End-Stage Renal Disease or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) are also eligible.

Anyone who is a US citizen or permanent resident and lived here for at least five years qualifies for coverage under these rules of eligibility.

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Medicare Part A Eligibility

As long as you have legally worked for 10 or more years in the United States, you will qualify for Part A when you reach your eligibility requirements at no premium. 

If you have not worked for at least 10 years, you will have a premium. Contact the Social Security office to ask what your premium will be.

Medicare Part B Eligibility

You become eligible for Medicare Part B the same way as Medicare Part A. However, there will be a premium no matter what. 

In 2020 the monthly premium is $144.60.

If you’re still working and have health insurance through your employer you can delay your enrollment for Part B and keep your employer-sponsored coverage without penalty. 

When your employer or union coverage ends, you’ll have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty.

Medicare Advantage Eligibility

You must be enrolled in Parts A and B to get a Medicare Advantage plan. You cannot drop either Part A or B at any point or you will lose your Advantage plan. 

You must also live in the plan’s service area.

Medicare Part D Eligibility

You are eligible for Part D as long as you are eligible for Parts A and B. 

You must also live in the plan’s service area.


Medicare Supplement Eligibility

As long as you are eligible for Original Medicare, you are also eligible for a Medicare Supplement plan. You can sign up for a plan at any time, but the best time is during your initial enrollment period (when you first become eligible for Medicare) because you can sign up for a plan with no health questions.