If you are on disability, it is vital for you to understand your potential for health coverage and benefits. Did you realize that you could receive Medicare?
There are three ways to qualify for Medicare: you are at least 65 years old, you have End-Stage Renal Disease, or if you have a specific disability. That last qualification means that you if you have a particular disability, you can still qualify for Medicare even if you are below 65 years old.
So, how do you get Medicare? There are still some criteria you must meet, and a few circumstances you should be aware of.
First, you should know that you must be on disability for at least two years to qualify for Medicare. You will never have to sign up for Medicare if you are below 65 and on disability. You will be enrolled automatically in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) after 24 months of receiving disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board.
You can expect your Medicare card will come in the mail during your 22nd month of disability. This little red, white, and blue card will tell you what coverage you have (both Part A and Part B), your Medicare number, and the date your coverage will start. This is the card you will give to any doctor or medical care provider when you require health services.
After you are enrolled, you will have periods where you can sign up to adjust your coverage. These adjustments could include purchasing additional coverage such as Part D (prescription drug coverage) or a Medicare Supplement Plan. Be aware that a Medicare Supplement plan is going to be more expensive for you than someone who is 65 and enrolled in Medicare. So, the most common strategy is to start with a Medicare Advantage Plan and upgrade to a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment period you will receive after you turn 65.
Perhaps you have just received a huge disability check, and you are wondering ‘now what?’ If you have been awarded disability backdated, you will still get enrolled in Medicare. Your Medicare start date will get backdated to when you first applied for disability.
Contact Avery Hall for all your Medicare needs. Our experts are here to help guide you through your enrollment and qualification process.