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Medicare Eligibilty Age

65 Years Old = Medicare Eligibility 

As you prepare to enroll in Medicare for the first time, it's easy to find yourself with a lot of questions, especially if you're navigating the many options alone. Where do you even begin? What is the Medicare eligibility age? In New Jersey there’s over 1,000 combinations of ways that you can get your Medicare coverage. Read on to learn all you need to know as you begin this journey. 

What Is the Earliest Medicare Eligibility Age?

In the majority of cases, the minimum Medicare eligibility age is 65, however Medicare begins the first day of your birthday month (unless you were born the first of the month, then it starts the month before your birthday month). The below requirements are necessary to qualify for Original Medicare (Parts A and B), along with your age.

  • A naturalized citizen of the United States of America for at least five consecutive years. 
  • A legal resident of the US for at least 5 consecutive years. 

Additionally, you may be eligible for Medicare at an earlier age if you are in any of the below situations. 

  • On Social Security Disability for 2 years.
  • Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
  • Diagnosed with end-stage renal disease that requires either a kidney transplant or regular dialysis.

What Can You Expect During the Medicare Enrollment Process?

New Jersey residents should start the Medicare enrollment process three months prior to your Medicare eligibility age. 

  • If you are turning 65 and you or your spouse payed Medicare income taxes for at least 10 years, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital) and receive it for free. 
    • If you or your spouse did not pay Medicare taxes for 10 years you will have to pay a monthly fee for Medicare Part A.
  • Part B (Doctor) typically comes with a monthly premium which is dependent on your income.  

There are two categories for those enrolling in Medicare for the first time.

  1. Currently collecting Social Security Benefits

If you are already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security (SS) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you will be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B on the first of the month that you turn reach Medicare eligibility age. (Note: Puerto Rico residents must manually sign up for part B.) 

Medicare Part B’s monthly premium will come out of your Social Security benefits check.

  1. Not collecting Social Security Benefits

If you are not currently collecting Social Security benefits you will have to manually enroll in Medicare Part B. This can be done by bringing this form to your local Social Security office, calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or online at

You will be billed for Medicare (the first bill may be for multiple months) and can then set up your payment method, if you create an account on you can pay online with a credit or debit card or direct debit from your bank account.  

  • If you receive disability benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B after 2 years of receiving SS or RRB benefits. 
  • If you have Lou Gehrig's disease, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B in the first month you start receiving disability benefits. 
  • If you have end-stage renal disease, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B at two possible times:
    • after three months of kidney dialysis
    • the same month that a Medicare-approved hospital admits you for a kidney transplant, provided the operation happens in the same month

Questions? Concerns? Consult a Medicare Broker!

If you have questions you need answered about Medicare; whether it's the initial enrollment process, the Medicare eligibility age, or anything else, the good news is that you don't have to go it alone. Have a chat with someone through New Jersey Medicare Brokers. A Medicare broker is an unbiased, informed voice that can advise you on the steps to take, what plans you would like to consider, and how to find additional assistance.

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