Can I Get Medicare if I’ve Never Worked?

Medicare is available without a monthly premium for individuals who have worked at least 10 years. That begs the question, can I get Medicare if I’ve never worked?

This article will explain Medicare eligibility for individuals who have never worked.

What Is Medicare?

For over 50 years, Medicare has been helping adults over 65 and individuals with disabilities afford healthcare. Coverage includes hospital visits, preventative services, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice.

There are four parts of Medicare:

·       Part A covers hospital stays, nursing facilities, hospice, and some types of home health care.

·       Part B is medical insurance for outpatient care and preventive services.

·       Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, provides coverage for things Parts A and B don’t cover.

·       Part D helps cover prescription drug costs.

Medicare eligibility depends on whether you are of Medicare age or have a qualifying condition. Learn more about Medicare and your eligibility by speaking with a Medicare agent.

Can I Get Medicare If I’ve Never Worked?

You can get Medicare even if you have never worked. Here is a list of special circumstances that qualify you for Medicare.

Spousal Coverage


·       Your spouse of over one year is eligible for social security, disability, or retirement benefits.

·       If you are divorced, but your former spouse of 10 years or more is eligible for benefits.

·       If your spouse is deceased and you have not married again. You may be eligible if your spouse was eligible for social security, disability, or retirement benefits.

Medical Conditions

Several medical conditions qualify you for Medicare Part A. Some examples include permanent kidney failure and ALS, just to name a few. Contact a Medicare specialist or visit the US Department of Health and Human Services Medicare benefits page to learn about disability eligibility.

Paid Premium

To apply for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years old and a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted noncitizen who has lived in the United States for 5 years or more. 

To get free Medicare, you need to have worked and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years (earning four work credits per year for a total of 40 work credits). If you don’t have the full 10 years of work history, you won’t be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A. 

You may still be eligible for Medicare by paying a monthly premium for Part A. The amount you will have to pay depends on how long you worked. For calendar year 2024: 

  • Individuals with 30 to 39 credits, will pay a $278 premium per month.
  • For those with fewer than 30 credits, the monthly premium will be $505.

Remember, though, that to get Medicare Part A, you need to also have Medicare Part B, which costs nearly $175 at the time of this writing.

Sign Up for Medicare

Can I get Medicare if I never work? Yes! If you meet any of the criteria above, you may be eligible for Medicare Part A.

Spousal coverage, certain medical conditions, and disabilities could impact your eligibility status. If you’re not eligible for zero-premium Medicare, you can pay a monthly premium for Medicare health insurance coverage.

If you have questions about Medicare or your eligibility, connect with us. We are here to help!


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