Do you have to be retired to get medicare?

No, you do not have to be retired to be eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily designed for individuals aged 65 and older, but it also covers certain individuals under 65 who meet specific criteria. The eligibility criteria for Medicare include:

  1. Age: Individuals who are 65 years old or older are generally eligible for Medicare, regardless of their retirement status.

  2. Disability: People under 65 who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for at least 24 months are eligible for Medicare.

  3. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): Individuals of any age with ESRD, such as kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant, are eligible for Medicare.

  4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, individuals with ALS are eligible for Medicare immediately after being approved for Social Security Disability benefits.

  5. Certain Medical Conditions: In some cases, individuals under 65 with specific medical conditions may qualify for Medicare if they meet certain requirements.

It’s important to note that while age is a common pathway to Medicare eligibility, disability and medical conditions also play a significant role. To apply for Medicare, you need to meet the relevant eligibility criteria and follow the application process through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

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