Not sure which Medicare plan works for you? Use our easy tool to shop, compare, and enroll in plans from popular carriers.
How to Check Medicare Eligibility Online for Free?
Just the essentials...
One can check eligibility for Medicare online at no costs
The Medicare website provides information on eligibility at no costs
The Medicare website provides a sign-up option at no costs
The Social Security Website provides information on eligibility
The social security Website provides a sign-up portal for Medicare
The best way to check eligibility for Medicare online for free is to use the Social Security or Medicare websites. They are portals for signing up for Medicare, and they offer free information about eligibility. Medicare is not part of Social Security, but getting Social Security benefits is one way to become eligible for Medicare.
Once eligible for Medicare, one must choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage private insurance plans. Comparison shopping is a great way to find the right health insurance coverage in Medicare Advantage, Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplement.
Enter your zip code above to compare all your best Medicare plans for free!
Determining Eligibility for Medicare
The Medicare website is a good place to start. The link will say something like “Find out if I’m eligible.” This link will lead to a page that can tell you when you qualify by age, whether you have enough work time, and whether you will get Medicare automatically or need to apply for it.
If eligible, the same page has a link to help find the amount of the premium one needs to pay to get covered under Part A and Part B of Medicare. The below-listed items are the essential qualifications for Medicare.
Age 65 with enough covered work time
Age 64 or less with disability
Twenty-four months of Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits
Information Needed to Check Medicare Eligibility
One must provide identification, and this includes a full name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Some questions may involve the work history of the spouse or partner.
One may have to post similar identifying information for the spouse or partner. Spouse or partner includes divorced and separated couples because the work history of one spouse or partner can benefit the other.
Check Online for Free at Medicare.gov
The Medicare website lists the general qualifications to get Medicare coverage. It also has resources to determine the applicant’s eligibility for Medicare. Medicare has an online eligibility tool to determine status for benefits and the insurance premium needed to activate services.
Check Eligibility through the Social Security Website
Social Security is an independent federal agency. The President appoints the Head with the consent of the Senate. Social Security helps people enroll in Medicare whether ready to retire or not. The SSA uses its website and offices to assist persons seeking information eligibility and in applying for benefits.
Open Enrollment Begins October 15 and Ends December 7
The government has enrollment periods; these are specific times when Medicare permits sign-ups. If one is eligible for Medicare, then the question may become when is the best time to enroll. The below-listed information describes enrollment options.
Initial Enrollment Period is the three months before the 65th birthday month, the birthday month, and the three months after the birthday month.
The General Enrollment Period ( GEP) runs from January 1 through March 31 of each year. Eligible persons that sign up for Part B and Premium-Part A get coverage that begins July 1 of that year.
Open enrollment runs from October 15, through December 7, in each calendar year.
General Eligibility for Medicare
The information about one’s eligibility involves basic items such as name and personal identifying numbers. Medicare eligibility goes automatically with social security eligibility. Individuals in the below-listed categories can get Medicare coverage. Persons in these categories qualify for Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance and Medicare Part B Medical Insurance.
Persons age 65 or older; eligibility begins four months before the 65th birthday
Disabled persons 64 and under can qualify if receiving disability benefits from Social Security or the RRB
Persons with end-stage renal disease (needing kidney transplant or dialysis) can get premium-free Medicare. Eligibility based on End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) requires current dialysis treatment, a kidney transplant, and filing an application for Medicare.In addition, Renal Disability must meet one of three below-stated conditions.
(1) Receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board Benefits; or
(2) Have worked enough quarters covered by Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or as a government employee; or
(3) Be the spouse or child dependent of someone that has worked enough quarters covered by Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or in government employment.
Medicare has Four Parts
Eligibility depends on the part of Medicare that one seeks to join. The eligibility rules are different for each Part. The system uses time during the working years in which the individual paid the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax or full FICA tax.
The QC is each three-month period of work; the full tax counts for Medicare and Social Security purposes; it counts as a quarter of work year for both monthly income benefits and premium-free Part A.
Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance eligibility requires a premium. Individuals without at least four months of Railroad Retirement Board Benefits or Social Security benefits will not be automatically enrolled. They must contact Social Security or Medicare to find if they are eligible and enroll in the Medicare Program.
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage does not have a separate eligibility; anyone qualified for Part A and Part B can use Medicare Advantage to find a private insurance plan to fit their needs. Comparison shopping will help make this task easier. Focus on the high priority features.
To get Part A premium -free, one must have enough quarters of covered employment based on employment, spouse employment, or a child’s employment. The number of quarters of coverage is under the federal income withholding tax or FICA.
The number of quarters needed vary with the basis of age, disability, or kidney disease. The number of fully-taxed covered quarters of work will support both the social security or Railroad Retirement Board pension benefits and premium-free Medicare Part A.
Age 65 Can Get Automatic Premium-free Medicare
Medicare Part A is premium-free to those 65 and older, and eligible for monthly Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security retirement money payments. Those receiving cash payments are eligible for Medicare Part A.
The system enrolls them in Part A automatically four months before the 65th birthday month. Receiving monthly payments from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board is a basis for eligibility for premium-free Medicare Part A.
The best way to determine eligibility for free is to apply for Social Security and Medicare. One can know for certain because the government will issue a proof of eligibility in the form of a Medicare ID card.
No Automatic Enrollment for Premium-paid Medicare
Some persons eligible for premium Part A must pay Part A and B premiums, and they will not get automatic enrollment at age 65. These persons must apply through Social Security or Medicare, wait for an enrollment period, and sign-up for Part A.
After approval, they must add or keep Part B. Keeping premium Part A requires government subsidies like QMB or prompt payment of all Part A and Part B monthly premiums. Part A coverage begins one or more months after signup depending on the enrollment period.
Medicare Satisfies the Individual Mandate
Every part of Medicare will not meet the requirements in the Affordable Care Act. For example, Part B standing alone does not meet the requirements for qualified health insurance. Part D and Medigap depend on having Part A.
The below listed Medicare Parts will meet the requirements of the individual mandate and avoid the penalty.
Original Medicare or Medicare Part A and Part B
Medicare Part A has the Minimum Essential Coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. Those with membership in Medicare Part A do not have to pay the individual shared responsibility payment.
Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plans meet the requirements of the individual mandate for qualified health insurance. These plans provide coverage equal to or better than Original Medicare.
Understanding Medicare Based on Disability
Persons entitled to monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits by disability are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A. They are eligible after twenty-four months of disability benefits. Disabled government employees may apply for acceptance for disability benefits. They get automatic eligibility for Part A after 29 months.
There is a special rule for People with (ALS) Lou Gehrig’s disease. They get eligibility with no waiting period after the first month of RRB or SSA benefits. Child disability eligibility begins the month of the 2oth birthday except for ALS which is set for age 18.
Free Ways to Check Medicare Eligibility
Medicare has free eligibility checks online. One can find them by going to the main website and following the links for finding eligibility. The Social Security website offers the same information; one can follow links to find qualifications for Medicare coverage.
Once in Medicare, one will need to compare private plans to make a great selection for costs and coverage.
Comparison shopping is a great tool when considering private prescription drug plans, Medigap insurance plans, and Medicare Advantage plans.