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Who is eligible for Medicare?

Who is this for?

Learn more about how Medicare works.

If you’re new to Medicare, this information will help you understand if you can sign up.

Most people think of Medicare as health insurance for older people. But younger people who have certain disabilities or diseases can get Medicare, too.

Are you 65 or older?

All U.S. citizens are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. But what you pay for Medicare depends on your work history and income.

You can get Medicare Part A, or hospital insurance, with no monthly premium if you or your spouse have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. If you don't qualify to get Part A for free, you can still get it by paying a monthly premium. 

Medicare Part B helps cover medical costs. Everyone pays a monthly premium for Part B. The amount you pay depends on your annual income. People with higher incomes will pay higher monthly premiums for Part B. 

Legal permanent residents who are 65 and older are eligible if they’ve lived in the U.S. for five years in a row.

Are you younger than 65?

You might be eligible for Medicare if you have:

  • A long-term disability and have been on Social Security for more than 24 months
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease

Learn more about eligibility for people younger than 65 at

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Page Last Updated Mon Feb 09 11:02:50 EST 2015