Age to Collect Medicare

When you turn 65 years old, you may be eligible for Medicare benefits. Some people may qualify before age 65. But what do you need to know about Medicare enrollment? Learn more below.

65 birthday cake with candles

Qualifying at age 65

The age of 65 is generally the magic number for which to start collecting Medicare benefits. The requirements for which to enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) include: 

  • Being at least 65 years old
  • Being a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years

Many people can enroll in Part A without having to pay a monthly premium. If you meet the above criteria but haven’t paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years while working, you are still eligible for Part A but may have to pay a monthly premium. If you have not paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, but have a spouse aged 62 or higher who has, you may be eligible to receive premium-free Part A. 

Qualifying under age 65

As mentioned, there are some situations in which you can collect Medicare before the age of 65. These include: 

  • You have received disability benefits from Social Security for at least 24 months
  • You have received certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 calendar months
  • You have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease

Contact a licensed agent for help

If you’re still confused, not to worry. The official government website for Medicare has an easy-to-use calculator to determine your eligibility date. Just follow the instructions provided and you’ll see an estimate of the date which you may be able to start collecting Medicare benefits according to your circumstances and even calculate an estimate of any monthly premiums.

Another option is to contact a licensed insurance agent. They can help you determine your eligibility date and explore the best Medicare options for your situation.

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