Medicare is the health insurance program used in the United States for people 65 years of age or older. However, it is also afforded to individuals under the age of 65 that are suffering from chronic illnesses or disabilities such as permanent kidney failure or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is also used to assist in paying the cost of health-care, but not all medical expenses incurred or long-term medical care.
Many people are not aware that a percentage of payroll taxes that’s paid by employees and employers are used to finance Medicare. They are aware that their tax dollars are being used for certain purposes, but are not aware of the specific purposes. Medicare is also financed by monthly premium deductions from Social Security checks.
Most individuals age 65 or older that are citizens of the United States or permanent residents are automatically eligible for free Medicare Part A hospital insurance. Here’s what makes you eligible at 65 years of age:
• Receiving or eligible for Social Security Benefits; or
• Receiving or eligible for Railroad Retirement Benefits; or
• You or your spouse (either living, deceased or divorced) has worked for the government long enough to obtain Medicare taxes; or
• Being the dependent parent of a completely insured deceased child.
If these requirements are not met, then you may be eligible for Medicare Part A through monthly premium payments. Most of the time people are able to sign up for Medicare Part A only during enrollment times. However, people are advised to sign up for Medicare at least three months prior to their 65th birthday.
There are also periods in which one is eligible for free Medicare Part A before reaching 65 years of age; however, the requirement list is a lot longer than what you find for being over 65.