Consumer Q&A: Can I get Medicare if I am not yet 65?

Can I get Medicare if I'm under 65

If you are not yet 65 and are disabled, and have been entitled to disability benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, you will automatically be entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B the 25th month of your disability benefit entitlement.

If you fit into this category, you don’t need to do anything to enroll into Medicare. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about three months before the 25th month of disability benefits.

You have the option to refuse Part B coverage; however, if you decide that you want Part B coverage at a later date (but before you turn 65) you may have to pay a 10% surcharge in addition to the Part B premium for each 12 month period that you could’ve had Part B but didn’t take it (except in special cases). It’s important to note that you will be automatically re-enrolled in Part B when you turn 65 (even if you previously refused Part B coverage).

There is a special enrollment period available if you waited to enroll in Medicare Part B because you or your spouse was working and had group health coverage through a current employer or union. If this applies to you, you can sign up for Medicare Part B while you are still covered by an employer or union group health plan (through your or your spouse’s employment). Or, you can sign up during the eight months following the month when the employer or union group health plan coverage ends or when your employment ends (whichever comes first).

Your 24-month waiting period after you become disabled will be waived if you have been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Learn more about Medicare Enrollment at eHealth.

Medicare has neither approved nor endorsed this information.

About Anita Loomba

Anita Loomba is a contributor of the eHealth Medicare Blog.
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