When you think about Medicare, the first thing that comes to mind is typically retirement. Those who have Medicare are often of an age old enough for retirement. However, this is not always the case. Medicare not only covers those who have retired from the workforce, but also those disabled or who meet other specific criteria.
So, how old do you have to be to get Medicare?
Below, we review the age for you to get Medicare and how you may qualify for coverage and not even know yet.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Original Medicare?
The typical age to enroll in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) is 65 years or older. However, in certain cases, you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare at a younger age.
To be eligible for Medicare at age 65, you must be an American citizen for at least five years.
Are you wondering if you can get Medicare before age 65? You may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if you receive Social Security Disability benefits or if you have specific diagnoses. To receive Original Medicare before age 65 you must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease
- Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Receiving Social Security Disability Income for 24+ months
Can I Get Medicare at Age 62?
Retirement and Medicare typically go hand in hand. So, if you retire at age 62 are you eligible to enroll in Medicare? Unfortunately, you would not be eligible for Medicare if you retire at age 62. You can typically get Medicare at age 65.
If you retire before age 65, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits at age 62, but that will not allow you to enroll in Medicare coverage. You will need to wait until your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday to begin the Medicare enrollment process.
Can I Get Medicare at Age 55?
Like those who retire at 62, those who retire at age 55 are not eligible for Medicare. While you may be eligible for Social Security benefits, this is not the same as Medicare healthcare coverage.
The only time you qualify for Medicare before age 65 is if you have been diagnosed with specific conditions or have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Medicare Part D?
To enroll in Medicare Part D, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A. Thus, the age requirement for Medicare Part A will inherently become the age requirement for Medicare Part D.
This means, you will need to be at least age 65 or qualify for Medicare Part A based on disability status to enroll in Medicare Part D.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Medicare Part C or Medicare Supplement?
To get Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Medicare Supplement plans, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare. This means, you must be at least 65 years old or meet the Medicare criteria for enrolling under age 65. If you do not meet these criteria, you can get Medicare at age 65.
Medicare Part C and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans both act as a supplemental coverage to Original Medicare. However, you cannot have both plans. You are only able to enroll in Medigap OR Part C. If you enroll in Medicare Part C, the plan becomes your primary coverage over Original Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, it will pay secondary to Original Medicare. Because they require you to have Original Medicare, you cannot enroll in a plan without Medicare Part A and Part B.
What is the Earliest Age You Can Get Medicare?
Due to there being circumstances where someone can enroll in Medicare due to a disability, there is no minimum age to enrolling in Medicare with a disability. However, you must have been receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for at least two years.
The only circumstance where this two-year limit can be waived is if you are diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. However, if you do not receive Social Security disability or are not diagnosed with one of the qualifying illnesses, you will need to wait until you are 65 to enroll in Original Medicare.
Will the Medicare Age Be Raised to 67?
In recent years, the proposal to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 began to gain traction. However, many are actually in favor of lowering the Medicare age below 65 rather than pushing it back to 67.
As of now, there has not been any indication that either of these proposals will become law. The standard Medicare enrollment age is currently 65 and there are no plans of changing that in the near future.
How to Know When You Can Get Medicare
If you are unsure about your eligibility for Medicare, it is essential to speak with a licensed agent who can walk you through the eligibility process and help you find the best Medicare plans to enroll in.
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- Who is Eligible for Medicare, HHS. Accessed June 2022.
- Medicare Benefits, SSA. Accessed June 2022.
- Get Started With Medicare, Medicare. Accessed June 2022.