Part A—Eligibility (Age 65 and Over)

A person is eligible for premium-free Part A if age 65 or older, and the person (or the person’s spouse) worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. More specifically, a person can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if he or she:

  • Is receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board;
  • Is eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but has not yet filed for them; or
  • Had Medicare-covered government employment.

If a person is not eligible for premium-free Part A (based on the above qualifications), he or she may be able to buy Part A if age 65 or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.