Determining if Your Loved One Qualifies for Medicare

By Roz Jones

Many seniors qualify for Original Medicare (Parts A and B), which is a government health insurance program. Eligibility for Original Medicare is based on several factors, including age, citizenship, residency, and work history. Here’s a breakdown of each factor to help you determine whether your loved one qualifies. 


The eligibility age for Medicare is 65. If your loved one is 64 or younger, they do not qualify for Original Medicare. 

Citizenship & Residency

To be eligible for Medicare, your loved one must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the United States continuously for at least five years. If they do not meet these criteria, they do not qualify for Original Medicare. 

Work History 

Medicare is primarily funded through payroll taxes. As such, most people who qualify for Original Medicare have worked at least 10 years in the United States and have paid into the system through payroll taxes. However, there are some exceptions. For example, people with certain disabilities or those who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) may also qualify for Original Medicare regardless of their work history. 

If you’re not sure whether your aging loved one qualifies for Original Medicare, use this guide as a starting point. Eligibility is determined by several factors, including age, citizenship/residency status, and work history. Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to these rules—for example, people with disabilities or those with ESRD may still be eligible even if they don’t meet all the criteria listed above. When in doubt, it’s always best to contact the Social Security Administration directly to find out for sure whether your loved one qualifies for this important health insurance program.

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Do you know your love language? Check out my latest podcast to learn more about how you can express love to your aging clients or loved ones in the role of a Caregiver.

The 5 love languages as shared by Gary Chapman have been transformational in the lives of many individuals who are looking to build relationships with their loved ones and these are also applicable in caregiving.

In this episode, I share how love can be expressed in caregiving. The caregiver role is one that is full of so many emotions and yet the central expression is love.


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1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE: The problems you face as a caregiver are experienced by other caregivers. Knowing that you’re not alone can be comforting. 

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