What are the Basic Eligibility Requirements for Medicare?
You will be eligible for Medicare when you are a citizen of the United States of America or have been a resident (legal) for a minimum of 5 years and 65 years or older.
In addition to this:
- You or your spouse should have worked for a minimum of 10 years or 30-40 quarters in employment covered by Medicare. In case you or your spouse has worked 0-29 quarters in employment covered by Medicare, you need to enroll as a voluntary enrollee. In such a situation, you will have to pay the Full monthly premium (Part A).
- You will also be eligible for Medicare if you are younger than 65 years with some sort of disability, and have been receiving Railroad Retirement Disability or Social Security Disability Insurance payments for at least 2 years.
You are also eligible when you are suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and have received the first month payment of Social Security Disability Insurance or when you are suffering from end-stage renal disease.
If you have Employer Group Health Insurance, Can You Drop Medicare Part B to Add It Sometime Later? Is it Possible to Delay Medicare Part B Enrollment without Paying Any Higher Premiums?
Yes, it is possible. If you already have Medicare Part B coverage, but want to drop it since you’re covered by the employer group healthcare insurance, you can
easily sign up for Part B coverage during the Special Enrollment Period. If you enroll in Part B coverage during this period, you won’t have to pay any higher
Part B premiums.
It is possible to sign up for Medicare Part B coverage during these periods:
- Initial Enrollment Period(when you first enroll yourself in Medicare)- This period starts 3 months before turning 65 years old, and lasts for 7 consecutive months.
- General Enrollment Period – January 1st – March 31st of every year. If you enroll during this period, it will be effective from July 1st of this particular year. The Medicare Part B coverage premium will increase by 10% for each 12 month period when you could have taken Medicare Part B coverage, but didn’t take it.
- Special Enrollment Period – If you didn’t choose Medicare Part B coverage because you or your spouse were covered by the employer group healthcare plan.
- It is possible to sign up anytime you or your spouse are covered by the employer group healthcare plan or during the 8 months from when your
union / employer group healthcare coverage or employment ends, whichever comes first. In order to add Medicare Part B coverage,
you can contact the Social Security Administration. You can call at 1-800-772-1213.
Can You Apply for Medicare if You Retire at 64?
No, Medicare benefits only start when you reach the age of 65. In case you’re not 65, but have been entitled to some disability benefits under Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security for 24 months, you will be instantly and automatically entitled to Medicare (Both Part A and B) from the 25th month of your disability benefit entitlement.
However, you can choose to refuse Part B coverage. You can even pick it up later. But you may have to pay some amount of surcharge (Usually, 10%) in addition to your Part B premium. When you turn 65, you will be instantly and automatically re-enrolled in Medicare Part B coverage, even if you didn’t choose it earlier. Although you can refuse Part B coverage again, you won’t have to pay a surcharge if you don’t skip it.
- It is worth mentioning that a Special Enrollment Period is also available if you ever waited to enroll yourself in Medicare Part B coverage because you were covered by union/employer group healthcare plan.
- If you have any questions regarding Social Security Disability Benefits or your eligibility for Medicare, you can consult the Social Security Office.
- In case you have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), the 24 month waiting period will be waived off.
- In order to discuss your options, it is better to consult the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. You can also visit compare-health-quotes.com to gather more information about suitable family and individual plans.
Can You Get Medicare if You’re Already Getting Social Security Disability Benefits?
Once you’ve received Social Security Benefits for a minimum of 2 years, you will be instantly and automatically enrolled in Medicare. The period starts from the month when you were entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. For some people, this can be earlier than the month they receive the first check. For more information, you can consult the Social Security Administration. You can call at 1-800-772-1213.
If you’re not over 65 years old, but suffer from Lou Gehrig’s disease, you receive the Medicare benefits in the first month you receive disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security.
If You’re 65 and Receive Medicare Benefits, Will Your 63 Year Old Spouse Receive Medicare?
In most cases, this is not possible. In order to be eligible, a person needs to be over 65 years old. However, if your spouse has been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for at least 24 months, he/she can start receiving Medicare at any age. Moreover, you can also purchase healthcare coverage from a private insurance provider for your spouse until he/she turns 65. In order to discuss your options, you can consult the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. You can also visit eHealthInsurance.com to consider your options.
Will Your Dependent Children and Spouse also Receive Medicare Benefits?
In order to receive Medicare, a person needs to qualify on an individual basis. For instance, if you’re below the age of 65, you will not start receiving Medicare automatically just because your spouse is above 65 years of age, and enrolled in Medicare. Similarly, when a parent qualifies for Medicare, it does not mean dependent children also receive Medicare benefits. If a person you know does not qualify for Medicare, ask the person to visit compare-health-quotes.com.
If You’re Disabled with Only Medicare Part A Coverage, Can You Get Part B Coverage When You Turn 65?
In case you’re already entitled to disability benefits on turning 65 years of age, you won’t have to apply for Medicare Part B coverage. You will be instantly and automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B coverage. You will also receive an Initial Enrollment Package with a new Medicare card. This card will show the Part B entitlement date on the basis of your age, and Part A entitlement date based on your disability.
In case you aren’t entitled to Medicare and Disability benefits when you turn 65 years old, you should contact Social Security. You can be enrolled in Medicare by calling at 1-800-772-1213. This way, you can begin a new Initial Enrollment Period. You won’t have to pay any higher premiums for Medicare Part B coverage.