Am I eligible for Medicare if I’m under 65 years old?

You can join Medicare under 65 years of age if:

  • You have a qualifying disability for which you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)1. In most cases, you qualify after you have received SSDI benefits for more than 24 months. On your 25th month, the Social Security Administration will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare). Note: if you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, (ALS), your automatic enrollment in Medicare begins the first month your disability benefits start.
  • Specific Medicare disability and eligibility rules apply if you are a railroad worker. Contact the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for more information about Medicare enrollment.
  • If you are under 65 with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or kidney failure, you may qualify for Medicare if you are getting dialysis treatments or have had a kidney transplant.

Return to the Medicare FAQ section to view more answers to other commonly asked questions about Medicare prescription drug coverage.

1Your Initial Enrollment Period is the 7-month period that starts 3 months before your 25th month of getting Social Security or RRB disability benefits and ends 3 months after your 25th month of getting disability benefits. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after you ask to join a plan. If you join during one of the 3 months before you first get Medicare, your coverage will begin the first day of your 25th month of entitlement to disability payments.