Living with a disability can be very difficult, which is why Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) exists in the first place. However, in addition to the payments from SSDI, it is very likely that you will need medical insurance to help manage your debilitating condition. If you no longer work, you are likely unable to continue getting medical benefits through your former employer.
The good news is that, if you have eligibility for SSDI, you also have eligibility for Medicare coverage, no matter how old you are. However, according to the AARP, there is a “waiting period” which occurs between becoming eligible for SSDI and getting Medicare coverage.
Why is there a waiting period?
In the majority of cases, the waiting period for Medicare lasts 24 months after you become eligible for SSDI. The reason for the waiting period is largely due to economics. Congress expanded Medicare to SSDI recipients back in 1972, and they included the 24-month delay when they did this. Congress did this in order to help manage the effect that adding SSDI recipients to the Medicare rolls would incur.
How does Medicare work when on SSDI?
Medicare for SSDI recipients works similarly to how it does for older eligible Americans. You will likely not need to pay in order to get Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization. However, there are still premiums for Part B, which covers outpatient and physician services. You may choose to enroll in Part D if you require medications to manage your disability: you must also pay a premium for these. You may have the government deduct these premiums from your SSDI payments.
Understanding your benefits with SSDI is paramount. Doing so can help you successfully live with your disability.