Most people are eligible to get Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Some people who are younger (ages 18 to 65) and have certain disabilities that prevent them from working can also get Medicare. To get Medicare Parts A and B (also called Original Medicare), you must meet the following criteria.
- Citizenship: You must:
- Be a United States citizen OR
- Have been living in the U.S. legally for at least five years nonstop.
- Age: You must be:
- Age 65 or older, OR
- Over 18 and under age 65 AND meet one of these conditions:
- Have received Social Security disability benefits, or SSDI, for at least 2 years, OR
- Have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), AND
- Are starting to get Social Security disability. Usually you can get Medicare the 6th month after Social Security found that your disability started, OR
- Have been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, sometimes called ESRD, AND
- Have been on dialysis for three months OR
- Have had a kidney transplant.
Note: SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is not the same as SSDI.
- The SSI program gives cash to people who have very limited income to meet their daily needs and have not worked long enough to get what's called Social Security. These people can be 65 or older, or younger and unable to work because of a disability.
- The SSDI program, called Social Security Disability Insurance, gives income to people who are found disabled and unable to work and who have worked long enough to get this benefit.
Think you're eligible but not sure whether you can or want to enroll yet? Get advice for your personal situation.
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