Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident for at least five continuous years. You must also meet at least one of the following criteria for Medicare eligibility:
Be age 65 or older and eligible for Social Security: You may be automatically enrolled into Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) when you reach age 65 and become eligible for Social Security; but if you want Medicare Part B (medical insurance), you have to enroll in it.
Be permanently disabled and receive disability benefits for at least two years: You automatically get Part A and Part B after you get disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for 24 months.
Have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant): You need to sign up for Medicare, as your enrollment isn't automatic.
Have Lou Gehrig's disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS): You automatically get Part A and Part B the month your disability benefits begin.
*Key Notes: If you are already getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you will automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Part A and Part B coverage starts the first day of the prior month.) But, if you're not receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (for instance, because you're still working), you must sign up for Medicare Part B when you meet the age requirement, as your enrollment isn't automatic.