Who is eligible for Medicare?
Medicare is available to United States citizens and legal residents who have lived in the United States for at least 5 years in a row before applying. Medicare is individual insurance. It doesn't cover spouses or dependents.
You may become eligible to receive Medicare benefits based on any one of the following:
- You are age 65 or older
- You are younger than 65 with a qualifying disability (Medicare eligibility begins after 24 months of receiving Social Security disability benefits)
- You have a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease) at any age
To qualify as a legal resident, you must have lived in the United States for at least 5 years in a row before applying for Medicare.