Without health insurance, your medical expenses can be difficult to manage. If you are coping with a medical condition, like diabetes, these costs can be even higher. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services sets the age limit at 65 to take over for your lost employer-based policy.

If you paid enough into the Medicare program, you do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. You pay into the Medicare program through your income taxes, which your employer automatically deducts from your paycheck.

Do I Meet the Requirements for Free Medicare?

You can earn up to 4 credits a year, and you can meet requirements for premium-free Part A once you have earned 40 credits (or 40 calendar quarters).

You may also qualify for Part A premium-free if:

  • You have collected Social Security and RRB disability benefits for 24 months.
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease.
  • You are the spouse or child of someone who has worked for a Medicare-covered government job for 10 years or 40 credits and meet the requirements for disability benefits.

If you meet the requirements for the Social Security disability program because you have ALS, the government automatically enrolls you in Medicare for free the month your benefits begin.

If you do not meet the requirements for free Part A, you can pay for coverage. You will need to pay the full amount of $506 each month if you have fewer than 30 credits as of 2023.

If you earned between 30 and 39 credits, you can pay the discounted amount of $278 monthly.  

You may have to pay a penalty if you sign up for Medicare right after you qualify. But you can avoid this fee if you meet the requirements for a special enrollment period.

Updated on 05/25/2022