Requirements for Enrolling in Medicare Part A

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You qualify to receive Medicare Part A benefits (without paying premiums for them) at age 65 or older if you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident (green card holder) and at least one of the following is also true:

  • You’ve worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, even if you’re not yet receiving retirement benefits.

  • Your current spouse has worked long enough to earn 40 credits, he or she is age 62 or older, and you’ve been married for at least one year.

  • You or your current spouse is a government employee or retiree who hasn’t paid into Social Security but has paid Medicare payroll taxes while working.

  • Your divorced spouse is at least 62 and has earned at least 40 work credits, you were married for at least 10 years, and you haven’t remarried or only did so after age 60.

  • Your late spouse had earned at least 40 work credits, you were married for at least one year before his or her death, and you haven’t remarried or only did so after age 60.

You qualify to receive Part A benefits without 40 work credits at age 65 or older if you’re a U.S. citizen or legal resident who has lived in the United States for at least five years before applying for Medicare, you enroll in Part A and Part B, and one of the following applies to you:

  • You have 0 to 29 work credits and pay the full Part A premium ($441 a month in 2013).

  • You or your spouse has 30 to 39 work credits, and you pay the partial Part A premium ($243 a month in 2013).

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