Expert's View

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As a rule, you have to be age 65 or older to be eligible for Medicare. However, Medicare coverage is also available to younger people with disabilities and those with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).

Medicare has two parts, Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).


You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

• you are receiving retirement benefits from Social Security;
• you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits but haven’t yet filed for them; or
• you or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

If you (or your spouse) did not pay Medicare taxes while you worked and are age 65 or older, you may be able to buy Part A.

However, if you are under age 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

• you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months; or
• you are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.

While very few people have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A, if you want to be covered by Part B you do have to pay for it. There are no exceptions.


The monthly premiums will be deducted from your Social Security or Civil Service Retirement payment. However, if you are one of those rare souls who doesn’t receive either of these payments, Medicare will send you a bill for your Part B premium every three months.

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FERS Retirement Guide 2022