U.S. green card holders are eligible for Medicare. However, how long you’ve lived and worked in the U.S. could affect the type of coverage you can get.

There are two parts to Medicare: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Most people get Part A for free, without paying a premium for coverage. Permanent residents meet the basic citizenship and residency requirements for Part A coverage. Medicare is funded through payroll taxes and the amount of time you worked, called quarters of coverage (QCs), determines whether or not you qualify for premium-free Part A coverage.  

To qualify for Part B coverage, you must have lived in the U.S for 5 continuous years prior to the month of filing an application for Medicare. Everyone must pay a monthly premium for Part B coverage.

Visit www.medicare.gov to see if you qualify.

Do I Have to Pay for Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance?

Eligibility for premium-free Part A Medicare is determined by your earnings or those of a spouse, parent, or child. In order to receive Part A coverage premium-free, the worker must have worked for a specific period of time (quarters of coverage – QCs) and filed an application for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. It is also possible to receive Part A coverage by paying a premium.

Exactly how many QCs are required depends on whether you are filing on the basis of age, disability or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). QCs are earned through payroll taxes during years worked.

Generally, to be eligible for Part A, you must be age 65 or older.  

Visit www.medicare.gov to see if you qualify.

Am I Eligible for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)?

Medicare Part B is general medical insurance. This coverage is voluntary and everyone is required to pay a monthly premium. Eligibility guidelines differ depending on whether you qualify for premium-free Part A coverage.

Those who qualify for Part A coverage without paying a premium are eligible to enroll in Part B. Individuals who are required to pay a premium for Part A, must meet the following requirements to enroll in Part B:

  • Be age 65 or older;
  • Be a U.S. resident; AND
  • Be either a U.S. citizen, OR
  • Be an alien who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and has been residing in the United States for 5 continuous years prior to the month of filing an application for Medicare.

Visit www.medicare.gov to see if you qualify.