You may not think Medicare can help you if you’re under the age of 65, but if you have a disability, there is an exception. Just like anyone over the age of 65, you do have options to choose from.
Living with a disability can be stressful enough, and adding the problem of having to pay your bills still, maybe taking care of your family and yourself, can only add to the daily stress you may face. Fortunately, Medicare offers plans for those living with a disability.
Disabilities that Qualify for Early Medicare
Before learning about the Medicare options, let it be known that there is such a thing as disability insurance, and you can have it at the same time you have Medicare. Disability insurance is a form of income protection that goes into effect if you become ill or injured. This insurance protects your loss of income for a period of time and belongs to the policy owners regardless of where they work.
When you’re under 65, you become eligible for Medicare if:
- You’ve received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) checks for at least 24 months. After 24 months, you’ll automatically enroll in Parts A and B.
- You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. You need to apply at your local Social Security office to get benefits with no waiting period.
- If you have Lou Gehrig’s Disease, you’ll automatically be enrolled when you begin receiving disability benefits.
- If you’re on Social Security Disability, you may also qualify for your state’s Medicaid program. If you’re on Medicare and Medicaid, you can still sign up for an Advantage plan. The two programs together will usually cover almost all your healthcare costs.
Once you have been disabled continuously for 24 months, you may be eligible for Medicare insurance. Usually, after the time period has passed, you’ll receive a Medicare card in the mail. If this does not happen, contact your local Social Security office. After that, you may then choose Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. For many people under 65, an Advantage plan is the most cost-effective option.
If you already know a little about Medicare, choosing a plan may not be as complicated or stressful as you thought. The same plans Medicare has available for people over the age of 65 are the same for people younger than 65 and disabled. Like everyone else, you will apply and enroll in a Medicare plan during the initial enrollment period, October 15th through December 7th.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll be given the same option of plans to have as others do. Medicare plans A and B help cover the costs of hospital stays, inpatient and outpatient care, and other medical equipment. Although if you have a Social Security Disability Advantage plan, then you will most likely have regular Medicare coverage as well as dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. However, it is up to you to decide what plan will be most effective for you.
Medicare Part D is also available for people younger than 65 who have a disability. This plan would benefit anyone who has to take monthly prescriptions for their disability.
Even though Medicare options are the same for people with/without a disability and over/younger than 65, Medigap is not the same. Since Medigap varies state by state, sometimes it may not even be available to someone over 65. Medigap can also range in price, which can make things more difficult as well.
Medicare for Disabled Youth
Suppose children are 20 years old or younger with ESRD. In that case, they can qualify for Medicare if they need regular dialysis treatment and at least one of their parents is eligible for or receives Social Security retirement benefits.
If a child is over 20, they will qualify for Medicare after receiving SSDI benefits for at least 24 months. If a child was disabled before turning 22, is unmarried, and one parent receives Social Security retirement benefits, work history is not required for SSDI.
Contact Your Local Medicare Insurance Agent for More Information
If you are under the age of 65 and are disabled or have a child who is disabled, there are Medicare plans for disabled people available to you. Contact me for a free appointment to see what benefits are available to you.