Medicare is a service provider for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Eligibility for Medicare requires all of the following:
- Aged 65 or older
- U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Must have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years
Typically, those who qualify under these guidelines will receive a Medicare card automatically right before eligibility. Sometimes, individuals may need to apply for benefits on their own. It is highly recommended that all individuals apply for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday, regardless of receiving a Medicare card or not.
Medicare can be very beneficial as it was designed to make retirement easier for individuals. Fees with Medicare are generally inexpensive in comparison to typical health insurance premiums. Often times, retirees can obtain Medicare Part A insurance for free as long as they worked and paid their Medicare taxes for a minimum of 40 quarters. Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospital care, skilled nursing facilities and care, hospice as well as home health services.
Medicare Part B is also offered by Medicare as insurance. It does require a monthly premium but this covers services such as medical preventative care, x-rays, mental health and at times, ambulance services.