Medicare eligibility

It’s important to know what to do when you’re eligible for Medicare.

Who is eligible for Medicare?

Medicare is available to United States citizens and legal residents who have lived in the United States for at least 5 years in a row. Medicare is individual insurance. It doesn't cover spouses or dependents.

You may become eligible to receive Medicare benefits based on any one of the following.

  • You are age 65 or older.   
  • You are younger than 65 with a qualifying disability. Medicare eligibility begins after 24 months of receiving Social Security disability benefits.   
  • Any age with a diagnosis of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease) 

Medicare Initial Enrollment Period

Around your 65th birthday you'll have a 7-month window of time when you can sign up for Medicare. It's called your Initial Enrollment Period – or IEP for short. Your IEP includes your 65th birthday month, the 3 months before and the 3 months after.

Need help finding a plan?

Answer a few simple questions and get a personalized list of plans, ranked by what's important to you.

Find Medicare Plans

Enter your ZIP code to see available plans in your area.

Questions about Medicare plans? Call UnitedHealthcare now

Call 855-721-8514 (TTY 711) toll free, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week1

Already a Medicare plan member?