People are eligible for Medicare without charge for Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) if they are:
??? age 65 and have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years;
??? age 65 and the spouse of someone who has worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years;
??? age 65 and have worked and paid Social Security taxes for fewer than 40 quarters; at that point, people can buy into Part A.
Everyone who is enrolled in Part A is also eligible for Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B), which covers doctor bills and has a monthly premium paid by beneficiaries.
Medicare is the second-largest social insurance program in the United States, with 47.5 million beneficiaries and total expenditures of $523 billion in 2010, according to the 2011 Medicare Trustees Report.
What if someone is under age 65?
A person is eligible if she or he is considered disabled and qualifies for benefits under the Social Security disability program. This means a person has a physical or mental ailment leaving the person unable to work for at least a year, or has a fatal ailment. A physician must certify eligibility. After drawing benefits for two years under this disability program, a person becomes eligible for Medicare coverage. A person is eligible if diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD); qualification for Medicare begins three months after the first dialysis treatment. An individual with Lou Gehrig???s disease (ALS) automatically gets Parts A and B under Medicare as soon as disability payments begin; there is no 24-month waiting period, as with other disabilities. More than 8 million people under age 65 are drawing Medicare benefits.
Who Is Not Covered by Medicare?
Who Are Dual Eligibles?
Can People Get Medicare If They Are Under Age 65?
How Does Someone Qualify for Medicare Through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?