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Are You Eligible for Medicare?

A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Your Medigap policy pays its share.

A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.

Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years old and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

If you are not 65, you might also qualify for coverage if you have a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).
 

Here are some simple guidelines. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

  • You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.

  • You are eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but have not yet filed for them.

  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

  • You have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement

  • Board disability benefit for 24 months. You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.

While you don’t have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet one of those conditions, you must pay for Part B if you want it. It is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you don’t get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.

 

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