You can sign up for Medicare when you meet the minimum age requirement. However, you must also be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident residing in the country for at least 5 continuous years.
You may also qualify for enrollment if you are younger than 65 years of age. Some conditions that make you entitled for Medicare coverage when you are under 65 years of age include End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease).
If you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months, the administration will automatically enroll you into Original Medicare around the time of your 65th birthday.
Around three months before you turn 65, the Medicare program will send you an official welcome packet with deadlines and other important information about your Medicare benefits.
If you are receiving (or if you qualify to receive) Social Security or Railroad retirement benefits at age 65, you will not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
If you do not receive these benefits and you are turning 65 in the next three months, you must submit an application to get Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B.
One of the most convenient ways to apply for Medicare is online. According to the SSA, the application takes no more than 10 minutes to complete.
You can lose your Medicare coverage if you fail to pay your premiums. At that point, you will only qualify for coverage again if you repay your missed payments.