Program Description

Medicare is a health insurance program for people who meet certain conditions. The program helps with health care costs, but it doesn't cover all medical expenses or most long-term care.

General Program Requirements

You may qualify for Medicare if you meet any of the conditions below:

  • Are age 65 or older.
  • Are under age 65 and received Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months.
  • Have permanent kidney failure (end stage renal disease).

Application Process

Visit the Medicare Benefits page for details on how to get started with Medicare, including the plans offered.

To find other Social Security benefits you may qualify for, use the SSA Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) on When you complete the questionnaire, you get a list of benefits to review. You can print this page for your records.

When you know which benefits you may apply for, visit the Apply for Social Security Benefits page to apply online. You can also call to learn more about benefits and how to apply.

  • 1-800-772-1213
  • TTY 1-800-325-0778
Last Updated: 09/14/2020