Medicare eligibility includes basic requirements, such as being over the age of 65. However, individuals that wish to receive Medicare health insurance must also be legal residents of the United States for at least the last five years.
Medicare eligibility also requires that individuals pay into Medicare, through payroll taxes, for at least ten years. In fact, both spouses must make those contributions or the spouses must pay a premium in order to receive Medicare health insurance.
Medicare eligibility also applies to individuals that are under sixty five, but are disabled and receive disability payments or social security benefits. Individuals that receive dialysis for renal disease, or need a kidney transplant to stay alive, may also be eligible for Medicare if the social Security Administration grants them eligibility. Those that have confirmed that they have Lou Gehrig's disease, may also be eligible for Medicare health insurance.
Those that receive Medicare health insurance before the age of Sixty five, must wait two years before the are granted Medicare eligibility, unless they meet specific requirements or are eligible for Medicaid.
Those that are currently eligible for Medicare and receive benefits, number around forty five million Americans. That number is expected to jump substantially, even though Medicare is already currently the largest health insurance provider in the country. Recent changes to health care reform implemented by the Obama administration may alter those numbers and make changes to the many programs available through Medicare.