MEDICARE

Who is eligible for Medicare? What is the minimum income required to qualify?

Qualifying for free Medicare insurance is not a straight forward process, certain requisites apply. Here is all you need to know on how to qualify...

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Who is eligible for Medicare? What is the minimum income required to qualify?
MARIO TAMA AFP

People with disabilities as well as those 65 or older have benefited from Medicare insurance in the US for more than 55 years, but qualifying isn’t that simple as certain requisites apply.

Here is all you need to know on how to meet the requirements for free Medicare insurance.

MINIMUM INCOME

As in most of the aid given out by the government, there are income restrictions through means testing. In this case, individuals wishing to qualify can just have a maximum monthly income of $1,357, whereas married couples, can just gain a combined $1,823 per month.

Asset limits remain $7,280 for one person and $10,930 for married couples.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

People who are past full retirement age

People who are over the age of 65 can be eligible for several reasons.

The first reason to qualify is citizenship. All US residents age 65 or over will qualify for full Medicare, as well as those who have permanent residency, having lived in the country for more than five years.

A second way of qualifying is through Social Security payments. Those who receive Social Security retirement benefits or are eligible for the payments but are still not collecting them to increase their payments in a future, will also be eligible for full Medicare insurance.

Finally, for those who aren’t eligible for Social Security or for US citizenship or residency test, there is still a way to qualify. This way is through spouses. Those people over 65 married to someone who works for the government, or retirees which haven’t payed Social Security contributions but have payed Medicare payroll taxes are also eligible for the insurance.

Younger than 65 can still apply

There are plenty of ways to qualify for health care insurance if you are under 65, however, most of them are related to some kind of disability.

Those who have benefited at some point in their life for at least 24 months of Social Security disability payments will be eligible, as well as those who are benefiting from any Railroad Retirement Board disability pension.

In the same way, those who have Lou Gehrig’s disease will also qualify directly.

Another option is that you require a kidney transplant and either you or your spouse has paid Social Security Taxes for a certain amount of time, which varies depending on age.

However, if you still don’t qualify for free Medicare you can always attempt to receive reductions based on the amount of taxable income your family has payed.