The U.S. government established Medicare, a health insurance system, to help U.S. residents who meet certain criteria meet the costs of their healthcare. There are various ways you can qualify:
Most people meet Medicare’s eligibility requirements the year they turn 65. However, the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) actually lasts for seven months. It begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and extends through the three months that follow your birthday.
For many of us, Medicare and Social Security benefits are closely linked. That’s because, until recently, eligibility for both began at age 65. And, if you receive Social Security benefits by age 65, you do enjoy automatic enrollment in Medicare. However, in 2012, the Social Security Administration increased the retirement age to 66 for individuals born between 1948 and 1954. What’s more, people born after 1954 won’t receive their Social Security benefits until age 67. In other words, Medicare and Social Security eligibility are no longer linked.
One of the more common misconceptions about Medicare eligibility is that everyone receives their benefits upon turning 65. This is not true. Age-related Medicare eligibility requires meeting the following criteria:
If you did not earn 40 credits, you must pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A hospital insurance. You can also apply for Part “A” coverage without paying a premium based on your spouse’s work record if you are at least 65 and your spouse is at least 62.
You may qualify for Medicare benefits before turning 65 if you meet one of the following criteria: