Medicare eligibility before 65
Generally speaking, if you’re under the age of 65, you are only eligible to receive Medicare benefits if you have certain Medicare-recognized disabilities, such as end-stage renal disease (otherwise known as kidney failure or ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
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Frequently asked questions
Can I get Medicare at age 62?
Unless you have been diagnosed with a Medicare-covered disability, the short answer is no, you can’t. Typically, you must be at least 65 years old to receive Medicare benefits. However, under some circumstances, your spouse may qualify for Medicare, even if you’re younger than 65 and retired.
For example, let’s say you retired at 62 years old, but your spouse just turned 65. Let’s further say your spouse hasn’t worked or paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (the minimum to qualify for automatic enrollment in Medicare Part A) prior to turning 65. But you, on the other hand, have been working and paying Medicare taxes for more than 10 years.
In this scenario, you would not be able to enroll in Medicare Part A yet, but your spouse would.
That’s just one example, but if you’d like to learn whether you and your spouse’s circumstances may qualify one or both of you for Medicare, talk to a licensed agent today.
I’ve heard you can get Medicare at age 55. Is that true?
Not exactly. The Medicare at 55 Act is a bill that was introduced in the US Senate back in 2017 and that would allow people aged 55 to 64 to enroll in Medicare. In other words, this bill—if passed—would lower the effective Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 55.
As you might imagine, the Medicare at 55 Act is the subject of much debate. It may be some time before this bill is made into law—if it’s ever made into a law in the first place—and changes to the minimum Medicare eligibility age are made.