Do I Qualify for Medicare?

Medicare serves three populations: those who are 65 and older, people with disabilities, and people who have End-Stage Renal Disease. 

65 and older

In order to qualify for Medicare as a person who is 65 and older:

  • You must be 65 or older
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years
  • You or your spouse must have worked to earn 40 credits – usually at least ten years – during which you paid Medicare taxes

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Under 65 with a disability

In order to qualify for Medicare as a younger person with a disability:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years
  • You must have been entitled to Social Security Benefits for at least 24 months (not necessarily consecutive)
  • You receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions 
  • You have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease

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Under 65 with ESRD

In order to qualify for Medicare as a younger person with End-Stage Renal Disease:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years
  • You must have permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. 
  • You or your spouse have paid social security taxes for a certain length of time, depending on your age.