Many people become eligible for Medicare on their 65th birthday, but you may be eligible for Medicare before then. Here is a list of reasons why someone would be eligible for Medicare before they turn 65:
- They are permanently disabled and have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least two years (do not need to be consecutive).
- They have ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
- They have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
If you do not have any of these conditions, you will become eligible for Medicare once you turn 65 if you are a U.S. citizen or have been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years.
Medicare Under 65
If you have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least two years, then you qualify for Medicare. You will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B after receiving these benefits for 24 months. If you have ALS, you will also be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B when your disability benefits start.
If you have End Stage Renal Disease, you will be eligible for Medicare early, but you will not be automatically enrolled. You will have to sign up for Medicare manually.
Do you have to enroll in Medicare at 65?
While you are not technically required to enroll in Medicare at age 65, it is important to be aware of possible penalties for not signing up for Medicare. If you or your spouse are still working and are covered by your employer’s insurance, you can defer Medicare coverage.
In order to avoid penalties, it is essential to know how to defer Medicare correctly. If you are not working or covered by your employer’s plan, enrolling when you turn 65 is the best way to avoid unnecessary penalties. Let us walk you through how you can avoid penalties and enroll in Medicare at the right time. Contact a licensed Medicare agent here.
When are you eligible for a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan?
A Medicare Advantage (MA) plan is another way that you can receive Part A and Part B benefits sold by private insurance companies. You must already be enrolled in Parts A and B of Medicare to be eligible to purchase an MA plan. While you have a MA plan, you will still be required to pay your Plan B premiums. For more information on Medicare Advantage plans, check out this article.
Part D Prescription Drug plans (PDPs) are also sold by private insurance companies and offer prescription drug coverage. To purchase a PDP, you must be enrolled in Part A. There are also certain Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage called MAPD plans.
If you have more questions about your Medicare eligibility, reach out to a licensed Medicare agent.