To be eligible for Medicare if you are under 65 you must have received disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months, have ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease), or have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).[1][2][3]

Here is how it works:

  • You automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B once you have received disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months.
  • You automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B once you have received certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months.
  • For ESRD, you generally get Medicare Part A and Part B 3 months after a course of regular dialysis begins or after a kidney transplant.
  • For ALS, you automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B the month your disability benefits begin.

Those are the basics. The specifics are more complex, and thus it is generally recommended that you contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office or the Railroad Retirement Board for more information if you are under 65 and believe you are eligible or will become eligible for Medicare.

Citations

  1. Getting Medicare if you have a disability. Medicare.Gov.
  2. Medicare for People Under 65. Medicare.Gov.
  3. Medicare eligibility for those under 65. Medicare.Gov.