Home > Eligibility > Medicare Qualifications | Am I...

Medicare Qualifications | Am I Eligible for Medicare?

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Oct 03, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that helps cover hospital and medical costs, such as hospital stays, surgeries and visits to a doctor’s office. In general, to receive Medicare benefits, you must be 65 older. Some younger people with certain disabilities or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) may also qualify.

Determining Your Medicare Health Insurance Eligibility

Medicare eligibility can be confusing, so we’ve broken it down into two parts:  

  • If you’re age 65 or older
    You qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B health insurance benefits if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident and you or your spouse are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. You may also qualify if you or your spouse is a government employee or retiree who has not paid into Social Security but has paid into Medicare while working.
  • If you’re younger than 65
    You may qualify for Medicare if you have been entitled to Social Security benefits for at least 24 months, receive a disability pension from the RRB, you have Lou Gehrig’s disease or you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

What Medicare Covers

Medicare is broken down into four parts, Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.

Part A is also known as Medicare “hospital insurance” and covers things such as hospital stays, surgeries and hospice care.

Part B is also known as Medicare “medical insurance” and covers things such as doctors’ services, outpatient care and some medical supplies.

Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, includes plans sold through private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. These plans provide you with all of your Part A and Part B benefits and may include various additional benefits. It’s an alternative to Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare).

Part D, also known as prescription drug coverage, adds prescription drug benefits to Original Medicare and certain other types of Medicare plans. Like Part C, Medicare Part D is offered through private insurance companies and approved by Medicare.

Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything

While Medicare covers a lot of medical expenses, it doesn’t cover everything. That’s where Medicare Supplement Insurance plans come in. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also referred to as Medigap) are designed to help cover many of the costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not.

Speak with a licensed agent at --ms-tfn-- , or read through our other guides to learn more.

Resource Center

Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap)

Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) helps cover some Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs. Learn more about plan benefits, eligibility, and costs.

Read More

Medigap or Medicare Advantage?

If you aren't satisfied with Original Medicare coverage, you may consider Medicare Advantage or Medigap. How do the two differ?

Read More

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans provide coverage for prescription drugs. Use this guide to learn what you should know about Medicare prescription drug benefits.

Read More

Medicare Eligibility Requirements

The primary requirement for Medicare eligibility is reaching age 65. People with certain disabilities or conditions may also qualify for Medicare coverage.

Read More

Medicare Supplement Insurance for People Under 65 With Disabilities

Are you under age 65 and have Medicare because of a disability? You may be eligible to purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance. Learn more and compare plans.

Read More

Medicare Eligibility and Enrollment

Most beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when they turn 65. Learn more about Medicare eligibility and enrollment requirements

Read More

The Average Cost of Medigap Plan F and Plan G by Age

Find out the average cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plan F and Plan G by age, from 64 to 85. Learn the average cost for your age.

Read More

State-Specific Medicare Supplement Information

Learn about Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in your state. Find out about eligibility, enrollment, costs, coverage and more by clicking on your state.

Read More

Medicare Out-of-Pocket Costs

Medicare's out-of-pocket expenses can cost thousands of dollars per year for beneficiaries. Here's what you can do.

Read More

Every 13 minutes, we help someone enroll in a plan.

Sign up for more information!

Enter your email address and get a free guide to Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Sign Up Now