Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re trying to figure out when you can get on Medicare. Your Medicare eligibility age is 65. That means you’re probably turning 65 in a few months! While I congratulate you on the milestone, there certainly are reasons to celebrate (and please pass the cake).
For starters, you made it! For most people, turning 65 can indicate a big milestone in life. If you’ve made it this far (and since you’re reading it, I assume you have) it’s calculated a woman turning 65 years old this year has a 28 percent chance — a little more than one out of four — of living another 25 years to age 90. And she has a 32 percent chance — almost one out of three — that she’ll live only another 15 years to 80.
If you’re a man, a 65-year-old man has a 30 percent chance — nearly one out of three — of living another 22 years to 87. And he has a 24 percent chance — almost one out of four — of living only another 10 years to 75.
No wonder 65 is considered the, “magic” age. For starters, you can get Social Security retirement income benefits at your “full retirement age,” provided that you also had enough work credits. (Today, you can actually begin taking these benefits between the age of 62 and 70+). Although not the same, Social Security and Medicare are definitely related.
For those who are eligible for Medicare based on age, you can enroll in this coverage starting three months prior to your birthday month (before you turn age 65). When you do, your Medicare coverage will start on the first day of your 65th birthday month. If you instead enroll in Medicare during or after your 65th birthday month, then your coverage will start in the following month.
Of course, you can get on Medicare provided that you and / or your spouse paid Medicare taxes during your working years, Medicare’s hospitalization coverage through Part A won’t require you to pay a premium. In fact, you are eligible to receive premium-free Medicare Part A (hospitalization coverage) if you:
The criteria for Medicare Part B eligibility are similar to those that are needed for Medicare Part A. In this case, if you are eligible for Part B of Medicare, you may be enrolled in this coverage automatically if you meet any of the following:
In some cases, those who are under the age of 65 may still qualify for Medicare benefits. For example, you can automatically receive premium-free Medicare Part A coverage if you have been entitled to either Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for 24 months, or you are a kidney transplant or kidney dialysis patient. (Note that these 24 months do not have to be consecutive in order to gain Medicare eligibility).
If you have been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), then your Medicare Part A hospitalization benefits will start in the first month that you also start receiving your disability income benefits.
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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.