Medicare

Immigrants Do Not Receive Free Medicare

Just to clarify, as I’ve recently heard some misinformation tossed about, immigrants do not receive free Medicare.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly states that individuals who want to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B must contact Social Security, which determines that person’s eligibility on behalf of Medicare.

According to the Social Security Administration’s requirements for entitlement, an individual must be 65 years old, a U.S. resident and either a citizen or a lawful permanent resident who has lived in the country continuously for the five years immediately preceding the month all other requirements are met. Therefore, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for either Medicare or Social Security.

Generally you have pay into those systems for 10 years to be eligible and need a valid social security number to do so. When undocumented immigrants work with a Social Security number, it is either fake or stolen. So they may pay into the system but are unable to claim benefits.

There are two main government documents that address this issue. The first, the Program Operations Manual System for Social Security, notes that people in the country illegally are not eligible for benefits.  

The second document, a publication from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, covers enrolling in Medicare and its requirements.