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Medicare Eligibility Rules

Medicare is one of the best health insurance program for people over 65. Read on to know about the eligibility to avail its benefits.
Ujwal Deshmukh May 12, 2019
Health insurance ensures our well-being. It also helps us in the treatment of diseases and disorders covered under it. Health insurance is necessary for young children, teenagers, middle aged, and most importantly for the elderly people.
Medicare is one such health insurance, which was initiated by the Federal Government in the year 1965, with an aim to ensure healthcare for people aged 65 years and above. Although this health insurance plan is open for everyone, there are some rules, regulations, and eligibility criteria to qualify for it.
This health insurance has two plans: plan A and plan B. The former covers hospital expenses while the latter covers doctor visits, lab tests, and other outpatient services.

Requirements to be Eligible

Like any other healthcare plan, Medicare too has some rules, regulations, and eligibility criteria. Therefore, people need to be aware of the following important rules to decide, whether or not, they are eligible for this insurance plan:
1. Medicare healthcare plan is meant for American citizens only. Therefore, the most important and the basic requirement to apply for this health plan is that the person needs to be US citizen since the last five years. Non Americans who have been residents of the United States of America for the past five years can also apply for this healthcare program.
2. The second most important rule for the eligibility is that the applicant or the spouse of the applicant must have worked for a Medicare covered organization for at least ten years in the entire career span.
3. Although this health insurance program is meant for health coverage of elderly people aged 65 and above, people below the age of 65 also can apply for this plan. However, there are some criteria to qualify for it. People below the age of 65 need to be disabled, or must be undergoing surgical procedures or dialysis for any sort of last stage renal disease.
Another criterion is that the applicant must be availing either Railroad Retirement Benefits or Social Security payments for at least two years prior to applying for this program.
4. People who are 65 or above and are already enjoying Railroad Retirement Benefits or Social Security payments automatically become eligible for this health plan. Applicants, whose spouse are serving the government under Medicare covered employment also are eligible for this health insurance plan.
5. People who are 65 and above, and are paying regular monthly premiums qualify for plan B.
6. People who are 65 and above need not be retired to qualify for Medicare. This is because, there are people who are eligible for retirement at the age of 67. If the past or current spouse of such people has paid for Social Security for more than ten years, then they become qualified for this health insurance.
Each and every elderly must apply for Medicare health insurance. The rules for eligibility are not very complicated. Anyone who fulfills all the aforementioned criteria can reap the benefits of this health plan.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.