When considering Medicare, there are several things you need to be aware of as a Green Card holder. Is it a free benefit? Do I qualify for Medicare? What are my options as I’m now approaching retirement? Use this comprehensive guide and seek consultation from specialist immigration lawyers to understand how Medicare works for Green Card holders.
I am a Green Card Holder. Am I Eligible for Medicare?
If you are a Green Card holder and a lawful resident of the United States, you are eligible for Medicare depending on certain factors – (i) the length of time you have spent living in the United States (ii) the time you have worked in the country during your residency. In some cases, you may still be eligible for Medicare if you do not meet the requirements but your spouse does.
Whether you are holding an Employment-Based Green Card or through family, DV lottery, or investment, you can be eligible for Medicare coverage. The above factors and the guidance of immigration lawyers also help determine how much you need to pay for the same.
Medicare Eligibility Requirements as a Green Card Holder
Below are the eligibility criteria you should meet to get Medicare coverage as a Green Card holder:
- You must be 65 years or older
- You must hold legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship by Naturalization
- You must be residing in the United States for at least 5 years in a row to use the Medicare benefits. Immigration lawyers can explain in detail.
- You will also need to work for a minimum of 10 years or 40 quarters to qualify for the government benefit. Unlike residency requirements, you do not need to work for 10 years consecutively to be eligible for Medicare. If you have worked for 10 years throughout your life and fulfil other requirements, you qualify for Medicare Part A without any premium. Even if you have worked less than 40 quarters, you may still be eligible for Medicare but at a premium cost
- You must have paid Medicare taxes during your residency or work tenure in the United States
You may also apply for Medicare if you are younger than 65 years, but have certain health conditions or are disabled. In some cases, if your spouse is a fully-insured Green Card holder or has been a U.S. citizen for a minimum of 1 year, then also you can be eligible for Medicare even if you do not meet the residency or work requirements.
Consult with expert immigration lawyers to understand if you qualify for Medicare as a Green Card holder.
What is the cost for Medicare?
If you fulfil the above eligibility criteria of being working in the United States for at least 10 years or 40 quarters, then you can apply for Medical Part A. However, the cost of Medicare is not determined by the number of years you have worked, but by the amount you have earned during this span. To get premium-free Medicare Part A coverage, you will require 40 work credits. To earn 1 work credit, you are required to work for at least one quarter and earn a minimum of $1,510 as of 2022.
Even if you have not worked for a full tenure of 10 years, you can still purchase Medicare Part A insurance, which primarily includes hospital coverage. The cost of Medicare Part A coverage in 2022 may vary up to $499 per month. Premium-free Part A coverage holders are still required to pay for other aspects of Medicare, including 20% coinsurance for services, deductibles, and Part B premiums.
If you do not qualify for Medicare Part A premium-free coverage, you are required to pay the premium out-of-pocket based on the length of time you are have worked in the United States. Immigration lawyers can help you understand the entire process.
When Should I Enroll for Medicare Coverage?
If you are a Green Card holder and want to apply for Medicare, the enrollment period starts 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months later. It is vital to enroll within this period to avoid penalties arising from delaying coverage. If you have already received Social Security benefits for over 4 months before you turn 65, then you may automatically get enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.
Onal Gallant and Partners PC is a law office specializing in Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration Law, and the US Visa Processes. We deliver reliable advice in a large variety of subjects ranging from forming a corporation, and buying a house in the US to trademark registration and Green Card applications (e.g., EB3 Visa or DV Lottery). With exceptional knowledge and insight into immigration law, our experienced lawyers at Onal Gallant and Partners PC are ready to help and respond to all of your inquiries.
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