Original Medicare Eligibility
Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B of the Medicare program. Here is how you can determine if you are eligible for Original Medicare Benefits:
In most cases, you must be 65 or older to qualify for Medicare Part A coverage.
- If you are claiming Part A entitlement based on a disability, your coverage cannot begin earlier than age 18.
- You may also qualify for Part A coverage if you are entitled to monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement board benefits and have collected those benefits for 24 months.
Many people are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A benefits. To qualify for premium-free coverage, you must have a specified number of quarters of coverage (QCs). These QCs are earned through regular payment of payroll taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
Part B eligibility varies based on whether an individual qualifies for premium-free Part A coverage or not. Although Part B enrollment can only happen at certain times, people eligible for premium-free Part A can enroll in Part B once they are entitled to Part A.
To qualify for Part B coverage, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be age 65 or older
- Must be a current U.S. resident
- Must hold U.S. citizenship or be an alien admitted for permanent residence who has lived in the U.S. for five consecutive years