Medicare Insurance Application
Most people qualify for Medicare when they turn 65. You qualify for it if you're eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. Or you may qualify on behalf of a spouse's (including divorced spouse's) record. Others qualify because they are government employees not covered by Social Security who paid the Medicare part of the Social Security tax. In addition, if you've been getting Social Security disability benefits for 24 months and have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), you'll qualify for Medicare. You may also qualify if you have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant.
If you are already getting Social Security benefits, you'll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A (Hospital Insurance) and B (Medical Insurance). However, since you must pay a premium for Medicare Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. You will just be contacted by mail a few months before you become eligible and given all the information you need for application.
If you are not getting benefits when you turn 65, you should call or visit a Social Security office three months prior to your birthday so they can help you decide if you should sign up for Medicare. You should do this even if you plan to continue working or do not think you have enough work credit under Social Security because Medicare enrollment period rules are very strict.
The Medicaid Program
Medicaid is a medical assistance program that is partially funded by the Federal Government but run by each State. Medicaid pays for basic medical care for people and families with low income and resources. People who are blind or disabled, age 65 or older, children or members of families with dependent children may be eligible. The State decides who is eligible and the amount of medical care and services it will cover.