Medicare Essentials for Green Card Holders: What You Should Understand

Medicare Essentials for Green Card Holders: What You Should Understand

In 2019, there were 2,060,000 million green card holders or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) aged 65 and over in the U.S. You may wonder what you need to do to get Medicare for green card holders if you (or your parent) became an LPR and are approaching the age of coverage eligibility. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Qualify for Medicare for Green Card Holders

Any green card holder has to be a legal permanent resident for at least five years or be at least 65 years old to apply for Medicare. You may be eligible for coverage once you naturalize your citizenship, even if you don’t qualify for Social Security benefits. If you’ve been an LPR for at least five years but don’t qualify for Social Security, you can purchase Medicare Part A.

How Can I Enroll in Medicare as a Green Card Holder

You can apply for premium-free Medicare Part A once you reach 65 years old and possess or have a spouse with 10 years or more of U.S. work experience. The coverage costs more for eligible LPRs with fewer work years. LPRs married to U.S. citizens for at least a year don’t have to wait five years to apply.

When Are My Immigrant Parents Eligible for Medicare?

If your parent is a green card holder, they may apply for Medicare if they have a five-year U.S. LPR status and are at least 65 or qualify through disability status. Either parent may qualify based on the others’ U.S. work credits.

What Are the Consequences of Enrolling in Medicare Late for Green Card Holders?

If you apply for Medicare Part A, Part B, or Part D after the expiry of the eligibility window, you’ll pay higher premiums for coverage. For a five-year delay in Part A enrollment, you’d pay 10% higher premiums for 10 years (double the delay period).

Get Expert Guidance from Medicare Advisors

Medicare eligibility can be confusing, especially if you recently became a permanent U.S. resident. Do you have any questions about selecting a cost-effective health plan for your unique needs as you approach retirement age? Contact us today at Medicare Advisors for expert guidance. You can also call us directly at (702) 803-8163.


Can a non-U.S. Citizen get Medicare?

No. Medicare is for documented immigrants that satisfy specific U.S. permanent residency and work history requirements.

Who is eligible for Medicare for immigrants?

Immigrants may be eligible for Medicare if they have a green card and meet specific eligibility conditions, such as a five-year permanent residency status, 10-year work history, at least 65 years of age, and social security eligibility.

How long do you have to live in the U.S. to get Medicare?

You must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years as an LPR or be married to a U.S. citizen for at least a year to apply for Medicare.

Is Medicare free for green card holders?

Premium-free Medicare Part A is only available to green card holders at least 65 years old and have a minimum of 10-year U.S. work history or their spouse has a 10-year U.S. work history.