United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 06, 2020

§ 426.
Entitlement to hospital insurance benefits
(a)
Individuals over 65 years
Every individual who—
(1)
has attained age 65, and
(2)
(A)
is entitled to monthly insurance benefits under section 402 of this title, would be entitled to those benefits except that he has not filed an application therefor (or application has not been made for a benefit the entitlement to which for any individual is a condition of entitlement therefor), or would be entitled to such benefits but for the failure of another individual, who meets all the criteria of entitlement to monthly insurance benefits, to meet such criteria throughout a month, and, in conformity with regulations of the Secretary, files an application for hospital insurance benefits under part A of subchapter XVIII,
(B)
is a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, or
(C)
(i)
would meet the requirements of subparagraph (A) upon filing application for the monthly insurance benefits involved if medicare qualified government employment (as defined in section 410(p) of this title) were treated as employment (as defined in section 410(a) of this title
shall be entitled to hospital insurance benefits under part A of subchapter XVIII for each month for which he meets the condition specified in paragraph (2), beginning with the first month after June 1966 for which he meets the conditions specified in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(b)
Individuals under 65 years
Every individual who—
(1)
has not attained age 65, and
(2)
(A)
is entitled to, and has for 24 calendar months been entitled to, (i) disability insurance benefits under section 423 of this title or (ii) child’s insurance benefits under section 402(d) of this title by reason of a disability (as defined in section 423(d) of this title) or (iii) widow’s insurance benefits under section 402(e) of this title or widower’s insurance benefits under section 402(f) of this title by reason of a disability (as defined in section 423(d) of this title), or
(B)
is, and has been for not less than 24 months, a disabled qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, within the meaning of section 231f(d) of title 45, or
(C)
(i)
has filed an application, in conformity with regulations of the Secretary, for hospital insurance benefits under part A of subchapter XVIII pursuant to this subparagraph, and
(ii)
would meet the requirements of subparagraph (A) (as determined under the disability criteria, including reviews, applied under this subchapter), including the requirement that he has been entitled to the specified benefits for 24 months, if—
(I)
medicare qualified government employment (as defined in section 410(p) of this title) were treated as employment (as defined in section 410(a) of this title) for purposes of this subchapter, and
(II)
the filing of the application under clause (i) of this subparagraph were deemed to be the filing of an application for the disability-related benefits referred to in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A),
shall be entitled to hospital insurance benefits under part A of subchapter XVIII for each month beginning with the later of (I) July 1973 or (II) the twenty-fifth month of his entitlement or status as a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary described in paragraph (2), and ending (subject to the last sentence of this subsection) with the month following the month in which notice of termination of such entitlement to benefits or status as a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary described in paragraph (2) is mailed to him, or if earlier, with the month before the month in which he attains age 65. In applying the previous sentence in the case of an individual described in paragraph (2)(C), the “twenty-fifth month of his entitlement” refers to the first month after the twenty-fourth month of entitlement to specified benefits referred to in paragraph (2)(C) and “notice of termination of such entitlement” refers to a notice that the individual would no longer be determined to be entitled to such specified benefits under the conditions described in that paragraph. For purposes of this subsection, an individual who has had a period of trial work which ended as provided in section 422(c)(4)(A) of this title, and whose entitlement to benefits or status as a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary as described in paragraph (2) has subsequently terminated, shall be deemed to be entitled to such benefits or to occupy such status (notwithstanding the termination of such entitlement or status) for the period of consecutive months throughout all of which the physical or mental impairment, on which such entitlement or status was based, continues, and throughout all of which such individual would have been entitled to monthly insurance benefits under this subchapter or as a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary had such individual been unable to engage in substantial gainful activity, but not in excess of 78 such months. In determining when an individual’s entitlement or status terminates for purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “36 months” in the second sentence of section 423(a)(1) of this title, in section 402(d)(1)(G)(i) of this title, in the last sentence of section 402(e)(1) of this title, and in the last sentence of section 402(f)(1) of this title shall be applied as though it read “15 months”.
(c)
Conditions
For purposes of subsection (a)—
(1)
entitlement of an individual to hospital insurance benefits for a month shall consist of entitlement to have payment made under, and subject to the limitations in, part A of subchapter XVIII on his behalf for inpatient hospital services, post-hospital extended care services, and home health services (as such terms are defined in part E of subchapter XVIII) furnished him in the United States (or outside the United States in the case of inpatient hospital services furnished under the conditions described in section 1395f(f) of this title) during such month; except that (A) no such payment may be made for post-hospital extended care services furnished before January 1967, and (B) no such payment may be made for post-hospital extended care services unless the discharge from the hospital required to qualify such services for payment under part A of subchapter XVIII occurred (i) after June 30, 1966, or on or after the first day of the month in which he attains age 65, whichever is later, or (ii) if he was entitled to hospital insurance benefits pursuant to subsection (b), at a time when he was so entitled; and
(2)
an individual shall be deemed entitled to monthly insurance benefits under section 402 or section 423 of this title, or to be a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, for the month in which he died if he would have been entitled to such benefits, or would have been a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, for such month had he died in the next month.
(d)
“Qualified railroad retirement beneficiary” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “qualified railroad retirement beneficiary” means an individual whose name has been certified to the Secretary by the Railroad Retirement Board under section 231f(d) of title 45. An individual shall cease to be a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary at the close of the month preceding the month which is certified by the Railroad Retirement Board as the month in which he ceased to meet the requirements of section 231f(d) of title 45.

(e)
Benefits for widows and widowers
(1)
(A)
For purposes of determining entitlement to hospital insurance benefits under subsection (b) in the case of widows and widowers described in paragraph (2)(A)(iii) thereof—
(i)
the term “age 60” in sections 402(e)(1)(B)(ii), 402(e)(4), 402(f)(1)(B)(ii), and 402(f)(4) of this title shall be deemed to read “age 65”; and
(ii)
the phrase “before she attained age 60” in the matter following subparagraph (F) of section 402(e)(1) of this title and the phrase “before he attained age 60” in the matter following subparagraph (F) of section 402(f)(1) of this title shall each be deemed to read “based on a disability”.
(B)
For purposes of subsection (b)(2)(A)(iii), each month in the period commencing with the first month for which an individual is first eligible for supplemental security income benefits under subchapter XVI, or State supplementary payments of the type referred to in section 1382e(a) of this title (or payments of the type described in section 212(a) of Public Law 93–66) which are paid by the Secretary under an agreement referred to in section 1382e(a) of this title (or in section 212(b) of Public Law 93–66), shall be included as one of the 24 months for which such individual must have been entitled to widow’s or widower’s insurance benefits on the basis of disability in order to become entitled to hospital insurance benefits on that basis.
(2)
For purposes of determining entitlement to hospital insurance benefits under subsection (b) in the case of an individual under age 65 who is entitled to benefits under section 402 of this title, and who was entitled to widow’s insurance benefits or widower’s insurance benefits based on disability for the month before the first month in which such individual was so entitled to old-age insurance benefits (but ceased to be entitled to such widow’s or widower’s insurance benefits upon becoming entitled to such old-age insurance benefits), such individual shall be deemed to have continued to be entitled to such widow’s insurance benefits or widower’s insurance benefits for and after such first month.
(3)
For purposes of determining entitlement to hospital insurance benefits under subsection (b), any disabled widow aged 50 or older who is entitled to mother’s insurance benefits (and who would have been entitled to widow’s insurance benefits by reason of disability if she had filed for such widow’s benefits), and any disabled widower aged 50 or older who is entitled to father’s insurance benefits (and who would have been entitled to widower’s insurance benefits by reason of disability if he had filed for such widower’s benefits), shall, upon application for such hospital insurance benefits be deemed to have filed for such widow’s or widower’s insurance benefits.
(4)
For purposes of determining entitlement to hospital insurance benefits under subsection (b) in the case of an individual described in clause (iii) of subsection (b)(2)(A), the entitlement of such individual to widow’s or widower’s insurance benefits under section 402(e) or (f) of this title by reason of a disability shall be deemed to be the entitlement to such benefits that would result if such entitlement were determined without regard to the provisions of section 402(j)(4) of this title.
(f)
Medicare waiting period for recipients of disability benefits
For purposes of subsection (b) (and for purposes of section 1395p(g)(1) of this title and section 231f(d)(2)(ii) of title 45), the 24 months for which an individual has to have been entitled to specified monthly benefits on the basis of disability in order to become entitled to hospital insurance benefits on such basis effective with any particular month (or to be deemed to have enrolled in the supplementary medical insurance program, on the basis of such entitlement, by reason of section 1395p(f) of this title), where such individual had been entitled to specified monthly benefits of the same type during a previous period which terminated—
(1)
more than 60 months before the month in which his current disability began in any case where such monthly benefits were of the type specified in clause (A)(i) or (B) of subsection (b)(2), or
(2)
more than 84 months before the month in which his current disability began in any case where such monthly benefits were of the type specified in clause (A)(ii) or (A)(iii) of such subsection,
shall not include any month which occurred during such previous period, unless the physical or mental impairment which is the basis for disability is the same as (or directly related to) the physical or mental impairment which served as the basis for disability in such previous period.
(g)
Information regarding eligibility of Federal employees

The Secretary and Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall jointly prescribe and carry out procedures designed to assure that all individuals who perform medicare qualified government employment by virtue of service described in section 410(a)(5) of this title are fully informed with respect to (1) their eligibility or potential eligibility for hospital insurance benefits (based on such employment) under part A of subchapter XVIII, (2) the requirements for and conditions of such eligibility, and (3) the necessity of timely application as a condition of entitlement under subsection (b)(2)(C), giving particular attention to individuals who apply for an annuity under chapter 83 1

1
 So in original. Probably should be “subchapter III of chapter 83”.
of title 5 or under another similar Federal retirement program, and whose eligibility for such an annuity is or would be based on a disability.

(h)
Waiver of waiting period for individuals with ALS
For purposes of applying this section in the case of an individual medically determined to have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the following special rules apply:
(1)
Subsection (b) shall be applied as if there were no requirement for any entitlement to benefits, or status, for a period longer than 1 month.
(2)
The entitlement under such subsection shall begin with the first month (rather than twenty-fifth month) of entitlement or status.
(3)
Subsection (f) shall not be applied.
(i)
Certain uninsured individuals

For entitlement to hospital insurance benefits in the case of certain uninsured individuals, see section 426a of this title.

(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title II, § 226, as added Pub. L. 89–97, title I, § 101, July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 290; amended Pub. L. 90–248, title I, § 129(c)(1), Jan. 2, 1968, 81 Stat. 847; Pub. L. 92–603, title II, §§ 201(b), 299I, Oct. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 1371, 1463; Pub. L. 93–58, § 3, July 6, 1973, 87 Stat. 142; Pub. L. 93–233, § 18(f), Dec. 31, 1973, 87 Stat. 969; Pub. L. 93–445, title III, § 305, Oct. 16, 1974, 88 Stat. 1358; Pub. L. 95–216, title III, §§ 332(a)(3), 334(d)(4)(B), Dec. 20, 1977, 91 Stat. 1543, 1546; Pub. L. 95–292, §§ 1(b), 3, June 13, 1978, 92 Stat. 308, 315; Pub. L. 96–265, title I, §§ 103(a)(1), (b), 104(a), June 9, 1980, 94 Stat. 444; Pub. L. 96–473, § 2(a), Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2263; Pub. L. 96–499, title IX, § 930(q), Dec. 5, 1980, 94 Stat. 2633; Pub. L. 97–35, title XXII, § 2203(e), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 837; Pub. L. 97–248, title II, § 278(b)(2)(A), (B), (4), Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 560, 561; Pub. L. 98–21, title I, § 131(a)(3)(H), (b)(3)(G), title III, § 309(q)(1), Apr. 20, 1983, 97 Stat. 93, 117; Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title VI, § 2663(a)(17), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1165; Pub. L. 99–272, title XIII, § 13205(b)(2)(A), (C)(ii), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 317; Pub. L. 100–203, title IV, § 4033(a), formerly § 4033(a)(1), title IX, § 9010(e)(3), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–77, 1330–294, renumbered Pub. L. 100–360, title IV, § 411(e)(2), July 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 100–360, title IV, § 411(n)(1), July 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 100–485, title VI, § 608(f)(5), Oct. 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 2424; Pub. L. 101–508, title V, § 5103(c)(2)(C), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–252; Pub. L. 103–296, title II, § 201(a)(3)(D)(i), Aug. 15, 1994, 108 Stat. 1497; Pub. L. 105–33, title IV, § 4002(f)(1), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 329; Pub. L. 106–170, title II, § 202(a), Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1894; Pub. L. 106–554, § 1(a)(6) [title I, § 115(a)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A–474; Pub. L. 108–173, title I, § 101(e)(1), Dec. 8, 2003, 117 Stat. 2150; Pub. L. 108–203, title IV, § 418(b)(4)(B)(vii), Mar. 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 533; Pub. L. 114–74, title VIII, § 844(a), Nov. 2, 2015, 129 Stat. 617.)
cite as: 42 USC 426