As with any governmental program, there are a number of Medicare eligibility requirements, consisting of general program eligibility rules and eligibility requirements for different parts of the Medicare plan.
The general eligibility requirements are that recipients be U.S. citizens or permanent citizens who are eligible to receive Medicare if they have worked for a minimum of 10 years at a job that has paid into the Medicare system. This same eligibility rule applies to your spouse, which means that if either of you worked for ten or more years in a job that paid into the Medicare system, both of you are covered. You must also be at least 65 years old unless you are permanently disabled or have permanent kidney failure necessitating dialysis or transplant.
There are also eligibility requirements for Medicare Parts A,B and D. To be eligible under Medicare Part A you must be over 65 and be receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits. You may also qualify if you are eligible to received Social Security or Railroad Retirement but have not yet applied for them. Finally, you may also qualify if either you or your spouse worked in a Medicare covered position for the government. Medicare Part A also provides coverage for recipients under 65 in certain situations. If you are under 65 and receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits due to a disability for at least 24 months you may be eligible. If may also be eligible if you are under 65 and undergoing dialysis or are in need of a kidney transplant.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for Part A, you will meet the requirements for Part B. Under Part B, however, you will be required to pay a monthly insurance premium. Likewise, anyone who qualifies for Medicare benefits also qualifies for Part D. Under Part D, however, you must enroll in Medicare Part D when you first become eligible or you may need to pay a penalty or paying more for your Part D coverage when you finally decide to enroll.
Medicare is confusing because it has several parts, and how much it pays depends on the service you need and how long you need it. Unfortunately, Medicare fraudsters prey on your lack of knowledge of the system.
Aside from the fact that many people consider the new Medicare prescription drug plan a scam in and of itself, there are plenty of non-government scam artists out there ready to take advantage of the confusion surrounding the new policies.