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Who qualifies for Medicare?

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Quick Answer

There are three groups of people who are eligible for Medicare: people who are over 65, people younger than 65 who suffer from a certain disability or illness, and people who have suffered from kidney failure and require a kidney transplant or dialysis. To qualify for Medicare, a person must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident. Additionally, an individual and their spouse need to have enough work experience to be eligible for Social Security benefits. If a person is over 65 years old, and is already receiving Social Security checks, then he is automatically enrolled in Medicare.

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Full Answer

People who suffer from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are automatically enrolled in Medicare the moment they get Social Security Disability benefits for the disease. For other disabilities, a person has to wait two years upon qualifying for Social Security Disability before the Social Security Administration enrolls him in Medicare.

A Medicare card is normally delivered three months before the 65th birthday, while the benefits become active on the first day of the month in which a person was born. Medicare, in this case, entails Medicare Parts A and B. Part A refers to hospital coverage, while Part B covers outpatient services, such as doctor visits and lab tests. If a person over 65 doesn't receive Social Security checks, he has to apply for Medicare via the Social Security Administration website or at the local Social Security office.

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