Many people think of Medicare as a program for people who are 65 and older. While this is true, some may not know that a younger person with a disability can also qualify for Medicare coverage. Not every disability is a qualifying one, so it’s important to understand if you meet the requirements before you take the time to apply. The following guide is for people under the age of 65 who have questions about whether or not they might be eligible for Medicare.
Even if you’re under the age of 65, you can qualify for Medicare if you have certain disabilities. You may be eligible for Medicare coverage if any of the following apply to you:
- You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): If you have ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, you may qualify for Medicare if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
- You have end-stage renal disease (ESRD): If you have ESRD, you may qualify for Medicare if you receive regular dialysis or your doctor determines that you need a kidney transplant.
- You’re receiving SSDI: To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have enough work credits from contributing to Social Security. You must also meet the definition of a disability under the Social Security guidelines. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers you to be disabled if you can’t do the work you used to do because of your medical condition, you can’t perform other work due to your medical condition, and your disability is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in your death.
- You’re receiving disability benefits from the United States Railroad Retirement Board (RRB): If you’re under the age of 65, you may qualify for Medicare if you’ve been receiving monthly RRB disability benefits due to a total disability for at least 24 months. You must also meet the definition of a disability under the Social Security guidelines.
Source: Financial Planning for Women