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Are Green Card Holders Eligible for Medicare? (Video)

This video will answer the question “Are green card holders eligible for Medicare?” A “green card” (officially known as a Permanent Resident Card) identifies you as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) and allows you to live and work permanently in the United States.

Watch: Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy Discusses if Green Card Holders Are Eligible for Medicare


Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). In short, a green card holder can apply for Medicare without jeopardizing his or her green card.

Your first chance to get Medicare usually starts 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65. Any person who wants to apply for Medicare will need to show at least 40 Social Security/Medicare credits earned in the United States. Additionally, to get Medicare Part B a green card holder will need to meet a 5-year permanent residency requirement immediately prior to applying for Medicare. This period starts on the day the green card holder is admitted into the US as a legal permanent resident. The green card holder must also reside continuously in the United States during that period.

Medicare is listed by USCIS as a benefit that it does not consider in the public charge inadmissibility determination. However, its important to point out that you must have legal status to be eligible for Medicare.

If you are a green card holder and have an immigration question, please contact our office.

Contact Godoy Law Office

Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties. We have remained open and serving clients throughout the pandemic. You should meet with an experienced immigration attorney to help and represent you in your immigration case. We can also help you if you’ve already filed and want an attorney to accompany you to your immigration interview. Please contact the Chicago immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office at 855-554-6369. 
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