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Man and woman couple, smiling, aged 65 or overMedicare is government health insurance coverage available to many people ages 65 and over.

Medicare Eligibility

  • Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • If you aren’t yet 65, you might also qualify for coverage if you have a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).

Here are some simple guidelines:

You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

  • You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • You are eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven't yet filed for them.
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if you have:

  • Received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
  • End-Stage Renal Disease and meet certain requirements.

Medicare Cost

If you meet the conditions above, you do not have to pay any insurance premium to receive Medicare Part A.

You must however pay a premium (of around $100) to receive Part B. It is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you don’t get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.

For additional details, Please visit

The Four Parts of Medicare

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

  • Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals
  • Helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

  • Helps cover doctors’ services, hospital outpatient care, and home health care
  • Helps cover some preventative services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse

Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Like HMO or PPO, Advantage Plans are health plans run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • Include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D, for an extra cost

Medicare Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

  • A prescription drug option run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
  • Helps lower your prescription drug costs

Every provider at San Luis Valley Health, Rio Grande Hospital, and Valley-Wide Health Systems accepts Medicare for services payment.