Residents of the United States, citizens and permanent residents, are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A by demonstrating they have worked at least 10 years where Medicare payroll taxes were paid by them or their spouse and that they are at least 65 years old. New immigrants are not eligible for Medicare no matter how old or young they are. Immigrants must meet residency requirements and be eligible for enrollment just the same as other U.S. residents.
Legal immigrants that are 65 years of age or older and who do not have a work history may buy Medicare Part A provided they can prove they have legally lived in the country for five continuous years. Non-citizen permanent residents under the age of 65 and disabled may qualify for Medicare, but need to meet the same eligibility requirements as for Social Security Disability Income benefits. Those requirements stat that they must have paid Social Security taxes on income and have at least 5 to 10 years of work experience (to accumulate work credits).