Who is Eligible to Enroll in Medicare
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There aren't many restrictions when it comes to enrolling in Medicare, but there are a few important ones that you need to know about.
Who Can Enroll in Medicare?
Medicare Parts A and B are the two main components of Medicare. In order to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, you need to be:
A citizen of the United States or
A permanent legal resident of the U.S. for at least five years.
You will also need to meet one of the following two requirements:
You are Over 65 and Eligible for Social Security
You will need to be over the age of 65 and eligible for Social Security in order to qualify for Medicare. Usually, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A, which provides you with hospital insurance coverage, when you reach your 65th birthday. Medicare Part B, however, isn't automatic, so you will need to enroll for this service. (The SSA might automatically enroll you in Medicare Part B if you already receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.)
You Receive Disability Benefits
If you have received disability benefits for 2 years or more, you could be eligible for Medicare. The SSA will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B once you have received benefits for 24 months.
There are other circumstances when you might be eligible for Medicare. These include if you have a type of kidney failure called renal disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's disease. If you have either one of these conditions, check whether the SSA will automatically enroll you in Medicare or you need to apply yourself.
What About Medicare Parts C and D?
Medicare Parts C and D provide you with supplementary benefits on top of your existing Medicare coverage (Medicare Part A or B, or both).
In order to qualify for any Medicare Part C or D plan, you will need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. For most people, they will be unable to claim benefits from Medicare Parts C and D until they reach their 65th birthday or have a disability.
Medicare enrollment might sound complicated, but it's really not. The above information provides you with a guide on Medicare eligibility and whether you can claim healthcare insurance benefits.