Medicare coverage before age 65
Before age 65, you are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance if you:
  • Have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months; or
  • Receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions; or
  • Receive Social Security disability benefits because you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis); or
  • Worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program; or
  • Are the child or widow(er) age 50 or older, including a divorced widow(er), of someone who has worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program.
  • Have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant and:
    • You are eligible for or receive monthly benefits under Social Security or the railroad retirement system; or
    • You have worked long enough in a Medicare-covered government job; or
    • You are the child or spouse (including a divorced spouse) of a worker (living or deceased) who has worked long enough under Social Security or in a Medicare-covered government job.

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