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Original Fee-For-Service Medicare: Eligibility


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You are eligible for Medicare if you are in one of the following groupings:

  • People who are age 65 and older
    • It doesn't matter whether you have ever been employed.
    • Social Security considers your age to change on the day before your birthday. That can be particularly important if your birthday is on either the 1st or 2nd of the month. If you were born on September 1, your age changed in the month of August for Medicare and Social Security purposes.
  • People who have received Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits for at least twenty-four months.
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ENRD).  ENRD is permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant. 
  • People diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
  • NOTE: If your spouse is covered under your health insurance when you apply for Medicare: If you enroll in Medicare based on age at 65 and your spouse is not yet 65, coverage will not begin for your spouse until he or she turns 65. (Therefore make sure you continue the present coverage for your spouse, even if it is from COBRA. )

If you are age 65 or older, even if you don't qualify, you can purchase Medicare A and B for a feeThe only question is how much you pay for the coverage. See Medicare-Premiums 

If you are eligible for Original Fee-For-Service Medicare, you are likely also eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan. To learn about Medicare Advantage plans, see: Medicare Advantage - Eligibility.

When you can enroll: You can enroll in Medicare Part A at any time. You can only enroll in Parts B and D at limited times. If you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, enrollment is automatic. For additional information, see: When Can I Enroll In Medicare Parts A, B and/or D?  3749

For information about how to enroll, see: Original Fee-For-Service Medicare: How To Enroll.

When coverage is effective depends on when you sign up. To learn more, see Original Fee-For Service Medicare: Effective Date Of Coverage.

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