Who Can Get Medicare?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 10, 2020 2:11:29 PM ET

People who can receive Medicare are those who are 65 years and older, those who have certain illnesses and disabilities, or those who need dialysis or a kidney transplant, explains WebMD. Most people who fall in this category are signed up automatically after they receive Social Security Disability.

Certain disabilities are covered by Medicare for U.S. citizens regardless of their age, states WebMD. People diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease have immediate coverage once enrolled in Medicare. Patients with kidney failure must wait three months after beginning dialysis to begin Medicare coverage. Patients with other disabilities must wait two years after disability payments begin before receiving Medicare benefits.

Those who already have Social Security checks are enrolled automatically into the traditional Medicare system, states WebMD. These people receive their Medicare card three months prior to their 65th birthday, and benefits begin immediately when they turn 65. Traditional Medicare includes part A, which is for hospital coverage, and the more comprehensive Part B.

Those who do not receive Social Security payments must apply for Medicare. The application is done at the Social Security Administration website or at a local Social Security office, reports WebMD. People are advised to apply three months prior to turning 65. The SSA then reviews the application and handles the entire process of enrollment.