If you're a green card holder or permanent U.S. resident looking for medical insurance, you might be wondering about your Medicare eligibility. We've put together a roundup of some of the top questions regarding Medicare and green card holders.

Q. Do seniors and parents who are green card holders qualify for Medicare in the U.S.?

In most cases, a new immigrant or a recent green card holder won't qualify for Medicare Insurance due to the program's specific and strict eligibility criteria. If you're a green card holder who doesn't reside in the U.S. and is just visiting America, you may be able to purchase a plan for temporary health coverage for green card holders for coverage while in the country.

If you don't qualify for Medicare, you can buy temporary health insurance which provides medical coverage for non-U.S. citizens.


Q. Am I eligible for Medicare? Can a green card holder get Medicare?

To qualify for Medicare for permanent residents, a person must be a U.S. citizen, or legal permanent resident who is past their 65th birthday. Additionally, the person or their spouse must have worked in the U.S. and paid Medicare taxes for minimum 40 quarters.

If you're a recent green card holder or new immigrant to the U.S., and/or haven't worked in the U.S., you may not immediately qualify for Medicare health insurance.

In this case, you can still purchase it as long as the following apply to you:

  • You're 65 years or older.
  • You've recently become a U.S. citizen by naturalization (the process of becoming a U.S. citizen after birth) and haven't worked enough quarters in the U.S. to have social security coverage.
  • You're a lawfully admitted alien (green card holder) and have constantly lived in the United States for 5 years or longer and don't qualify for Social Security benefits.
Q. How can I learn more about Medicare eligibility and other health insurance options?

You can visit U.S. Medicare department online at Medicare.gov or call 1800.MEDICARE (1800.633.4227). Discuss your situation and specialists can help you find the options available for you.

Q. How can a green card holder get Medicare?

To begin the process of enrolling in Medicare, visit MediCare.gov or call 1800.MEDICARE (1800.633.4227).

Q. What about other health insurance options for new immigrants and green card holders?

If you don't qualify for Medicare or other private health insurance, you can buy temporary health insurance in the U.S. for non-US Citizens.