The Medicare program is a federal health insurance program for qualified individuals. Medicare helps cover specified healthcare costs such as skilled nursing facility care, preventive tests, hospice care, doctor’s visits, etc.
To enroll in Medicare, you must meet the eligibility requirements, which include factors regarding your age, if you have a disability or receive disability benefits, or have certain health conditions. If you are unsure about your eligibility, no worries! We’re here to explain that all to you.
You can qualify for Medicare due to age, and for many, this begins as soon as they turn 65. Well, technically, three months before turning 65, which initiates your Initial Enrollment Period. This is a seven-month-long period that will allow you to enroll in Medicare.
If you do not enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can delay your enrollment until the General Enrollment Period, which begins on January 1 and ends March 31. However, suppose you delay your enrollment and do not have a qualifying reason for doing so. In that case, you may face late enrollment fees when you do eventually enroll. In some cases, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which will allow you to delay your enrollment past the Initial Enrollment Period and enroll in Medicare at a later time without facing penalties.
Qualification by Disability
Apart from qualifying for Medicare due to age, you can also become eligible if you receive disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you receive disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months, you will become automatically eligible to receive Medicare benefits on the 25th month. A Medicare card will be sent to you by mail about three months before you are automatically enrolled on the 25th month.
Certain Health Conditions
People with health conditions such as End-Stage Renal Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis can become eligible for Medicare while under 65. People who have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis become eligible for Medicare after receiving a diagnosis.
People with End-Stage Renal Disease qualify for Medicare if they need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. The Medicare coverage will begin after one month or the first dialysis. However, once the beneficiary no longer needs dialysis or has had a kidney transplant, the coverage will end.
To enroll in Medicare, you must be a United States citizen or a permanent legal resident for at least five years. Also, the enrollee must reside in the United States and must be ready to receive care from Medicare-approved providers.
At Advocate Health Advisors, we specialize in various health and life insurance plans. Our Medicare experts are ready to assist you in getting the best plan for you. Contact us today at (800) 709-5513 for more information regarding your Medicare eligibility.