Can I Get Medicare if I am Under Age 65?

Medicare is available under very limited circumstances to people that are younger than 65 years of age.

Anyone who is permanently disabled and has received Social Security Disability payments for 24 months will qualify for Medicare coverage beginning their 25th month. Disability payments under Social Security have a separate eligibility requirement from Medicare and Social Security. The recipient must have worked and paid social security taxes five of the last ten years to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. If the applicant is under the age of 22 they can use their parent's work history and apply that towards their Disability Insurance. Need based Social Security Disability Insurance is also available to some individuals.

Permanently disabled veterans also qualify after the two-year waiting period. Tricare (Military) benefits require that you sign up for Medicare Part B and Part A. If you have additional private insurance you will want to talk to them directly about how it works in conjunction with Medicare before your 25th month.

Auntie Lou says, "If you get Tricare talk to your VA rep about Medicare Benefits."

Anyone diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS also known ad Lou Gehring's disease also qualifies for Medicare before the age of 65. In this case eligibility for coverage begins almost immediately when the first social security disability check arrives.

If you are under the age of 65 and you have been diagnosed with End-Stage-Renal Disease (ESRD, Permanent kidney failure) you can also receive Medicare coverage. In this case there is a three-month waiting period unless the applicant is on dialysis and a self-dialysis program is put in place. Coverage begins the same time as the self-dialysis program. If a kidney transplant is going to be preformed, Medicare coverage begins two months before the scheduled surgery.

In summary, unless you are permanently disabled and qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or have ALS or ESRD you have to wait until you are 65 to qualify for Medicare benefits.