Monday, April 15, 2024

Can You Get Medicare Early If You Are Disabled

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Original Medicare For Under 65

When Can You Enroll in Medicare for the First Time?

You can always stay on Original Medicare only and pick up a prescription drug plan on Medicare Under 65. This allows freedom from networks and referrals, but you have no cap on the maximum you can pay. Your risk can be very high because of the lack of a cap on your spending.

Prescription drug plans will work exactly the same for you as it does for beneficiaries over 65 as well.

How Do Sources Of Supplemental Coverage And Prescription Drug Coverage Differ For Medicare Beneficiaries Under Age 65 With Disabilities And Older Beneficiaries

Supplemental coverage

Most Medicare beneficiaries, including those under age 65 with disabilities, have public or private supplemental insurance to help cover Medicares cost-sharing requirements.9 A much larger share of beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities than older beneficiaries rely on Medicaid to supplement Medicare because of their relatively low incomes .10 Medicaid helps with Medicare premiums and cost-sharing requirements, and covers services needed by many people with disabilities that are not covered by Medicare, particularly long-term services and supports.

Figure 3: Supplemental Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries Under Age 65 Compared to Those Age 65 or Older in 2012

Just over 1 in 5 beneficiaries under age 65 has no supplemental coverage, compared with 12% of those age 65 or older. Lack of supplemental coverage among Medicare beneficiaries is associated with higher rates of access problems, but rates of access problems are higher among younger beneficiaries with disabilities who lack supplemental coverage than among older beneficiaries, including not seeing a doctor for a health problem when they think they should and having trouble getting needed health care .12 Regardless of whether or not they have supplemental coverage, however, a larger share of younger beneficiaries with disabilities than older beneficiaries experience access and cost-related burdens .

Prescription drug coverage

Enrolling In Medicare With A Disability

Medicare is available to U.S citizens or permanent residents age 65 or older, those under age 65 with a qualified disability receiving SSDI benefits for at least 24 months, and people diagnosed with ALS or ESRD.

You may automatically be enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65 if youre receiving Social Security, or after receiving disability benefits for 24 months. Otherwise, you must sign up during your IEP, GEP, or Special Enrollment Period :

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If Youve Been Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits For 24 Months

You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at the beginning of the 25th month after you first received your Social Security disability benefits. Exceptions include those who do not live in any of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or if you have end-stage renal disease .

You can apply separately for a Medicare prescription drug plan through a private insurance carrier if you want prescription drug insurance. Enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan as early as three months before the 25th month of your Social Security disability benefits.

To enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you can use the eHealth plan comparison tools on this page.

What Does Medicare Cost If You Have A Disability

Did You Get Your New Medicare Card?

Beneficiaries of Medicare are subject to certain costs. These include:

  • Premium: The plans monthly payment
  • Deductible: The amount you must pay on your own before insurance starts to cover the costs
  • Copay: A flat fee you pay for covered services
  • Coinsurance: The percentage of costs you pay after reaching your deductible

Knowing how these expenses work is essential to understanding Medicare costs.

Medicare Part
  • Deductibles

They also offer some emergency coverage when traveling outside the U.S.

You will pay a monthly premium ranging from around $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on which plan and insurance carrier you choose.
Special Needs Plans Cover people with specific diseases or characteristics by tailoring benefits, drug formularies, and provider choices to meet specific needs. Examples include Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization or preferred provider organization . Plans may charge an additional premium in addition to Part B premiums, but there are also zero-premium plans depending on your area.

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How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Medicare

Are you wondering at what age you can get Medicare coverage? You could say that Medicare age ranges from 65 up, for the rest of your life, for most people in the U.S. If you qualify for Medicare by disability, you can get Medicare before age 65. Youâre generally eligible for Medicare if youâre younger than 65, and:

  • Youâve been getting Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months. Youâre typically signed up for Medicare automatically when you start the 25th
  • You have end-stage renal disease . You might qualify for Medicare, but youâre not automatically signed up. You need to contact Social Security or visit their website, gov.
  • You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , also known as Lou Gehrigâs disease. Youâre automatically signed up for Medicare the same month your Social Security disability benefits start.

A Disability And A Long Wait Are Required For Early Medicare Enrollment

Lisa Sullivan, MS, is a nutritionist and health and wellness educator with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

Medicare isn’t available to most people until age 65, but if you have a long-term disability or have been diagnosed with certain diseases, Medicare is available at any age.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation data, 14% of all Medicare beneficiaries are under age 65. As of April 2021, 63.3 million Americans were enrolled in Medicare. So roughly 9 million of those beneficiaries are under age 65 and eligible for Medicare because of a disability as opposed to age.

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If Youre Diagnosed With Lou Gehrigs Disease

If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A in the first month that you begin receiving Social Security disability benefits. You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B if you live within the 50 United States or District of Columbia. You will have the option to refuse the automatic enrollment in Medicare Part B if you already have medical insurance. If you need prescription drug insurance, you will have to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan separately.

Can Someone With A Disability Get Help To Pay For Medicare

SSDI, SSI & Retirement | Social Security Disability Insurance & Supplemental Income | theSITREP

A person who cannot afford Medicare costs may be eligible for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program. This is one of the Medicare Savings Programs for people with low incomes. It helps pay the Part A and Part B premiums, along with any deductibles, coinsurances, and copayments.

To be eligible for QMB, a person cannot have a monthly income that exceeds $1,084. A married couples monthly income cannot exceed $1,457.

In addition to income, QMB eligibility requirements include resources, such as stocks, bonds, and savings accounts. The resource limit for an individual is $7,860, and it is $11,800 for a married couple.

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Why Is Medicare Advantage A Good Choice For Disabled Medicare Beneficiaries Under 65

Medicare Advantage plans are the best choice for disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 because many combine cost savings with convenience, allowing those who are disabled to bypass certain costs while making it possible for them to enroll in plans tailored to their needs.

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C plans, function as “all-in-one” alternatives to Original Medicare, encompassing Medicare Part A, Part B and usually Part D prescription drug coverage. The plans eliminate the need to purchase Part D and supplemental plans separately, which is done with Original Medicare.

Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans have out-of-pocket limits, usually around $7,550 a year. This caps the total amount that enrollees pay for covered health care services, an important benefit for those who are managing ongoing health conditions. In contrast, someone who is only enrolled in Original Medicare could face limitless health care costs.

Plans are usually affordable, and most of them charge little or nothing in monthly premiums. Many of the plans also provide extra benefits, covering dental and vision services, for instance.

How To Enroll In Medicare Disability

n most cases, you dont have to do anything to enroll in Medicare. You will be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B as soon as you become eligible. Medicare sends your Welcome to Medicare kit and ID card about three months before your coverage is effective.

Your Part B premium is automatically deducted from your SSDI or railroad disability payment.

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Other Ways To Get Medicare Coverage At Age 65

If you dont qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A coverage, you may be eligible to buy coverage. However, you must still be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident for at least five years to qualify.

Other Medicare Eligibility Options

  • You can pay premiums for Medicare Part A hospital insurance. Premium costs vary based on how long you have worked and paid into Medicare.
  • You can pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part B medical services insurance. Youll pay the same premiums as anyone else enrolled in Part B.
  • You can pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Your premium will be the standard rate and would depend upon the plan you choose.

You will not be able to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap supplemental insurance unless you are enrolled in Original Medicare Medicare Parts A and B.

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Disabilities That Qualify For Early Medicare

Can I Get Medicare Before Turning 65?

When youre under 65, you become eligible for Medicare if:

  • Youve received Social Security Disability Insurance checks for at least 24 months. At the end of the 24 months, youll automatically enroll in Parts A and B.
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. You can get benefits with no waiting period by applying at your local Social Security office.
  • Also, if you have Lou Gehrigs Disease, youll automatically be enrolled when you begin receiving disability benefits.
  • If youre under 65 and Medicare-eligible you can sign up for an Advantage plan.

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    Medicare Eligibility At Age 65

    • You are at least 65 years old
    • You are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident for at least five years

    In order to receive premium-free Part A of Medicare, you must meet both of the above requirements and qualify for full Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, which requires working and paying Social Security taxes for at least 10 full years .

    Learn more about Medicare eligibility at and before age 65 by referring to this helpful chart and reading more information below.

    Special Circumstances: Medicare With Als Or End

    Medicare eligibility rules for people with ALS or end-stage renal disease are different. Individuals who qualify for Medicare with ALS or ESRD do not have to wait for your 25th month of disability to be eligible for Medicare.

    If you qualify with ALS: You will automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B the month your disability benefits begin. 7

    If you qualify with ESRD:8

    • For most people, Medicare coverage will start on the 1st day of the 4th month of dialysis treatment.
    • If you have an employer group health plan, Medicare will begin on the fourth month of dialysis.
    • Treatments if you have employer coverage.
    • If you participate in an at-home dialysis training program, your coverage may begin the first month of a regular course of dialysis provided the following are true:
    • You participated in training from a Medicare-approved training facility for the first three months of your regular dialysis
    • Your doctor expects you to finish training and be able to do your dialysis treatments yourself

    Note, according to Medicare in order to qualify with ESRD all of the below must apply:9

    For further information related to ALS and Medicare, visit

    For further information related to ESRD and Medicare, visit

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    Medicare Enrollment For Ssdi Recipients

    Can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

    To become eligible for Medicare based on disability, you must first qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI pays monthly benefits to people with disabilities who might be limited in their ability to work. If you are injured or have a medical condition that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for SSDI.

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    How Do People With Disabilities Enroll In Medicare

    If youre under 65 and receiving Social Security disability benefits, enrolling in Medicare is easy. In most cases, you wont need to do anything. Youll automatically get Part A and Part B coverage as soon as youre eligible. For most disabilities, your Medicare coverage automatically starts after youve received SSDI for 24 months.

    All you need to do is check the mail for your Medicare card. Your new card should arrive three months before your Medicare coverage starts. This means that most adults qualifying for Medicare with a disability will get their card in month 21 of their SSDI. Youll have lots of time to find out exactly whats covered before your Medicare coverage starts on the first day of month 25.

    If you are on disability when eligible for Medicare at age 65, youll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. Your Part B monthly premium can be deducted from your Social Security benefits, and you can start using your Medicare coverage as soon as you turn 65.

    Do I Automatically Get Medicare When I Turn 65

    Some people automatically get Medicare at age 65, but those numbers have declined as the Medicare and Social Security ages have continued to drift apart.

    Most people who automatically get Medicare at age 65 do so because they have been receiving Social Security benefits for at least four months before turning 65. Traditionally, Medicare premiums are deducted from your Social Security check. For the longest time, you could retire with full Social Security benefits at 65 and start on Medicare at the same time.

    You are still automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if youre drawing Social Security, but not as many people draw Social Security that early these days because of changes to the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits.

    In 2000, the Social Security Amendments of 1983 began pushing back the standard age for full Social Security benefits. The progressive changes are nearing their conclusion: Beginning in 2022, the standard age for full benefits will be 67 for anyone born after 1960.

    Besides the Medicare eligibility age of 65, what remains unchanged is that you can opt to begin drawing partial Social Security benefits as early as age 62. So, if you opt for accepting partial Social Security benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare.

    A smaller group of people also automatically get Medicare at age 65: people who receive Railroad Board benefits for at least four months before 65.

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    Medicare Supplement Plans For Disabled Under 65

    Medicare pays a large portion of the cost, but not all of it. Medigap can help cover what Medicare doesnt cover. But if youre under 65, it can be hard to find an affordable Medigap plan.

    While some states require companies to offer at least one Medigap plan to people under age 65, others do not. In some states, Medigap plans are only available to certain types of beneficiaries, such as people with end-stage renal disease.

    In several states, you cant buy a Medigap plan at all if youre under 65. And rates tend to go up from one year to the next. So, Medigap can be both hard to get and expensive if youre under 65. Often, the best solution is an Advantage plan.

    When you turn 65, youll qualify for the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. Then, you can get a policy without having to answer any questions about your health.

    Qualifying For Social Security Disability And Medicare Benefits

    When to Apply for Medicare

    & amp amp amp amp amp amp lt span data-mce-type=âbookmarkâ style=âdisplay: inline-block width: 0px overflow: hidden line-height: 0 â class=âmce_SELRES_startâ& amp amp amp amp amp amp gt & amp amp amp amp amp amp lt /span& amp amp amp amp amp amp gt & amp amp amp amp amp amp lt span data-mce-type=âbookmarkâ style=âdisplay: inline-block width: 0px overflow: hidden line-height: 0 â class=âmce_SELRES_startâ& amp amp amp amp amp amp gt & amp amp amp amp amp amp lt /span& amp amp amp amp amp amp gt If youâve been diagnosed with a condition thatâs left you permanently disabled â meaning you cannot work for a period of 12 months or longer â you can apply for Social Security disability through the Social Security Administration at You must have worked a Social Security-qualified job and paid Social Security taxes to be eligible.

    In addition, your medical condition must prevent you from performing your normal job function, and you must have been unable to find a suitable replacement position or new line of work because of your age, education levels, or physical limitations. If you do not continue to follow your doctorâs recommended treatment plan to improve your condition, you may be disqualified from Social Security disability benefits.

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