Who qualifies for Medicare benefits?

Medicare provides coverage to approximately 40 million Americans, and is the national health insurance program for:
  • People age 65 or older
  • Some people under age 65 with disabilities
  • People with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) -- permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
In most situations, to qualify for Medicare's full range of benefits, you need to be 65 and have earned the required "quarters" of coverage. This generally means you are eligible if you or your spouse worked — and paid Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes — for at least 10 years. However, if you’re disabled or meet other requirements, you may also qualify — provided you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

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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.