Medicare insurance is a federal program that can help you pay for some of your medical costs. It is a long term health insurance program that provides medical coverage if you meet the requirements. Medicare health plans are available if you are a certain age or older, have a qualifying disability, or have a certain medical diagnosis.
Some applicants may also qualify for a free Medicare plan. Knowing when and how you are able to enroll in a plan might help you save money on health care costs and help you get Medicare coverage as soon as you need it. Read on to learn more before you apply for a Medicare Advantage Plan in the Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2023 Open Enrollment Period.
Medicare is a low-cost health insurance program in the United States. It began in 1966 through the Social Security Administration (SSA), and now is administered to citizens through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
You may be able to successfully apply for Medicare health insurance coverage if you meet the age or medical requirements. If you are eligible for the program, you’ll automatically qualify to sign up for Medicare at 65 years of age. However, you may be able to enroll before your 65th birthday in some instances.
Whether you are a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident, you can join a Medicare plan. You are a U.S. citizen if:
- You were born in one of the states or territories of the country.
- You were born in a foreign country and at least one of your parents are U.S. citizens.
- You were born in a foreign country and have become a naturalized citizen.
You may enroll as a legal permanent resident if you have lived in the United States for the last consecutive five years. Lawfully present includes the following:
- Green-card holders
- Lawful temporary residents
- Those with valid non-immigrant visas
- Qualified non-citizens with an immigration status without a waiting period
As long as you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, you can begin the application process three months before your 65th birthday. However, applicants may qualify for coverage when they are younger than 65 years old. To get Medicare before you turn 65, you must meet additional requirements relating to your health and abilities.
Click on to the next slide to learn more about special qualifications for Medicare.