For green card holders – or legal residents of the United States who aren’t US citizens -, Medicare and its eligibility requirements can be a confusing topic. For legal immigrants, there’s good news for some, and bad news for others. So, how does a green card holder become eligible for Medicare exactly? Let’s take a closer look at Medicare’s eligibility requirements.
For off, know that eligibility requirements pertaining to Medicare can vary state to state. Generally, though, Medicare is only available to those that have paid Medicare taxes as part of their employment in the US, and that typically equates to having worked at least 40 quarters. Typically, to meet Medicare’s eligibility requirements, you must either work 10 years to get the benefit OR be able to draw it from your spouse who have worked for more than 10 years.
If legal residents (non US citizens) HAVEN’T worked in the U.S., there MAY still be a possibility to “buy in” to Medicare (differs state to state) provided that they’ve resided in the United States for five continuous years or more, and are, of course, 65 years or older. In these select cases, though, premiums are much higher compared to what US citizens would pay. To be concise, actual work history decides how much Medicare recipients have to pay for their health coverage.
So, how does a green card holder become eligible for Medicare?
1. Work in the U.S for at least 40 quarters, provided that FICA taxes are withheld, a portion of which is set aside for Medicare contributions,
2. Reside in the U.S. for at least five continuous years.
3. In regards to the legal residents that have NO U.S. work history, applicants are usually required to “buy-in” to the plan by paying the higher Medicare premium associated with Part A of the Medicare program.