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Who is Eligible for Medicare?

Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years old and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. You might also qualify for coverage if you are a younger person with a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).

Here are some simple guidelines. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

  • You are already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but have not yet filed for them.
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

  • You have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefit for 24 months.
  • You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.

While you do not have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet one of those conditions, there are deductibles for Part A. In 2017, the Part A deductible for days 1-60 is $1,316.00, 61-90 is $329.00, 91 and beyond Coinsurance is $658.00, beyond lifetime reserve days is all costs.

You must pay for Part B if you want it. In 2017 the monthly premium for Part B is $109.00 for most with incomes under $85,000 (single) and $170,000 (married). The deductible for Part B in 2017 of $183.00. It is usually deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you do not get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A or Part B, or if you want to apply for Medicare, call the Social Security Administration. The toll-free telephone number is: 1-800-772-1213. The TTY-TDD number for the hearing and speech impaired is 1-800-325-0778. You can also get information about buying Part A as well as part B if you do not qualify for premium-free part A.

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