People are eligible for "premium-free" (no cost) Medicare Part A if:
- You are 65 or older and you are receiving, or are eligible for, retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, or
- You are under 65 and you have received or are receiving Railroad Retirement disability benefits for the prescribed time or Social Security Act disability benefits, or
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment, or
- You are under 65 and have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
If you are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you can buy Part A by paying a monthly premium if:
- You are age 65 or older, and
- You are also enrolled in Medicare Part B (out-patient insurance), and
- You are a resident of the United States, and are either a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who has lived in the United States continuously during the 5 years immediately before the month in which you apply.
- CMS Glossary "MEDICARE PART A (HOSPITAL INSURANCE)", Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Technically not true since you (and your employer) paid ahead of time via Medicare payroll taxes.
- CMS Glossary "ELIGIBILITY/MEDICARE PART A", Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services