Medicare is intended to be a safety net for older Americans' medical needs. As people get older, they are more likely to have an expensive medical cost or procedure. Since insurance is priced based on risk, older people always paid much more for their insurance. At some point they get priced out of the market. For this reason Medicare is the insurance plan created for Americans once they reach the age of 65. In fact, no American can get another plan other than Medicare once they turn 65 because there are no private plans available domestically. Some people can get Medicare before turning 65. If you are on social security disability then you can qualify for Medicare benefits even before reaching the appropriate age.
The process to get onto social security disability benefits can take a long time to complete. The minimum that it generally takes to get on disability is two years under normal circumstances. If you are in a position that you just can no longer afford the premiums for the insurance, social security disability benefits is a solution, but it will not be a quick solution. To qualify you will need to meet several different criteria concerning your ability to work. Can you work any job? Can you work the job you are trained in? Will you be able to recover and go back to work the job the way you were before you were disabled. The social security office will be able to walk you through this process. If you have a difficult case, however, it is advisable to get an attorney to represent you and take you through the process.
Other than social security disability there are very few ways to claim your Medicare benefits before you turn 65. The first day of the month that you turn 65 you will be eligible for your benefits. However if you have difficulty paying for your medical benefits until Medicare starts there are some affordable solutions. These solutions are not for everyone. You could get a full major medical plan with co payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs, but that could be just as expensive as the plan that you currently have. Those plans also can be difficult to qualify for if you have medical issues. If you just need major medical coverage in the event that something catastrophic happens, you can do like many Americans do and purchase short term or temporary health insurance to cover for major incidents while waiting for the Medicare to start. These plans are great to bridge the gap between your current insurance and Medicare.
If you are not 65 and you are not on social security disability, consider a quote for short term health insurance to save money and cover any catastrophic issues the way any more expensive plan would.