Who Can Receive Medicare Benefits?
Medicare is a health care insurance program provided by the federal government. Usually, Medicare benefits are received by people age 65 or older. Therefore, if you are under age 65, you will not be able to sign up for Medicare, except in two situations.
- If you are under 65 and have certain disabilities you may be eligible for Medicare coverage.
- If you are under 65 and have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and need frequent kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Keep reading to learn more about the requirements for Medicare eligibility for people under age 65.
Requirements for People with Disabilities under age 65
In order for someone to enroll in Medicare under 65, they must have a disability that qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Additionally, before your application is accepted, you must have been receiving social security payments for a period of 24 months or more.
Once the 24 months have passed, an Original Medicare red, white, and blue card will be sent to you by mail. You should receive this card within 3 months of the 25th month of disability payments. While this means you now have Medicare Part A and Part B, if you need prescription drug coverage you will still need to pay a premium for Part D.
Additional Benefits Coverage
If you have received disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for 24 months, you will qualify for Original Medicare.
As you may have guessed, Medicare for short term disability under 65 does not exist. Medicare for disabled people under 65 applies only for long-term disabilities. For the most part, the condition in question has to impair someone’s ability to work. These disabilities include the following:
This list represents only a portion of the disabilities that may be covered under SSDI. In order for you to qualify for SSDI for one of these conditions, you will have to be evaluated for coverage by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They use a manual filled with the qualifying criteria, which is commonly called the “Blue Book.”
When applying for SSDI, you may want to work with an attorney as you prepare for an SSA evaluation. A personal injury lawyer, in particular, can be a powerful ally in helping you get compensation or coverage if your disability was caused by an injury such as a traumatic brain injury.