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What if I have not worked long enough to qualify for Medicare?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

If you have not worked long enough to qualify for Medicare, you will need to file for Social Security benefits and Medicare at the same time. Contact your local Social Security office to file for both.

 For more information about Medicare eligibility, contact your local Social Security office or www.socialsecurity.gov. You can also visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.

If you are 65 or older, you can buy into Medicare by paying a premium for Part A hospital insurance. You can also join Part B (doctors’ and outpatient services) and pay the same premium as everybody else. In both cases, you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident (green card holder) who has lived in the United States continuously for at least five years.
The per-person cost for a Part A premium was $244 a month in 2009 (for individuals with 30 to 39 work credits) or $443 a month (for those with fewer than 30 work credits). These amounts usually increase each year. Once you’ve earned 40 credits (about 10 years of work), you’ll no longer be required to pay Part A premiums.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.