The eligibility age for Original Medicare is usually 65 years of age or older, but younger individuals of all ages could qualify. You should apply for Original Medicare if you have been disabled for at least two years, or have End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).
You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay a premium if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare Taxes for at least 10 years and:
- You are receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but you have not yet filed for them.
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.
If you (or your spouse) did not pay Medicare taxes while you worked, and you are age 65 or older and a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States, you may be able to buy Part A. If you are under age 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:
- You have been entitled to Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months. (Note: If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease, your Medicare benefits begin the first month you get disability benefits.)
- You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.