If you have a child under the age of 20, they can only qualify for Medicare if they have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Additionally, to qualify for Medicare coverage, the child must:

  1. Need dialysis on a regular basis or require a kidney transplant
  2. And, have at least one parent who receives or is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits

Children over the age of 20 qualify for Medicare after receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for at least two years (24 months). Your child may be able to receive SSDI, even with no work history, if they:

  1. Developed a disability before age 22
  2. Have at least one parent who receives Social Security retirement benefits
  3. And, are unmarried

If your child is 18 or younger and does not qualify for Medicare, they may qualify for your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). S-CHIP is a program for families with low incomes. If your child is 19 or older, they may qualify for Medicaid.

Return to: Medicare In-Depth

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