Medicare is thought to be strictly for those 65 and older, but that is not always the case. If you are disabled, you can get Medicare while being well under 65. However, you have to ensure that you can get disability benefits first.
Medicare isn’t always exclusive to seniors
Medicare is marketed as the federal health insurance program designed for seniors, but it’s available to those with disabilities, too. It does not matter how old or young you are in this case, so long as you’ve been getting disability benefits from Social Security for at least 24 months. The challenge is qualifying for those disability benefits because they are not easily obtained.
Getting disability benefits
If you are not getting disability benefits, then you will need to take this step before you can get Medicare. Social Security does not freely give out disability benefits. There are criteria you must meet.
Your disability has to be significant to the point where you can not perform any work-related task. You have to exhibit extreme deficits in abilities such as remembering, sitting, lifting, standing, and/or walking. These problems have to persist for at least 12 months. Take into account that Medicare requires 24 months of getting disability benefits before joining, which means that if you do not already have disability benefits, you won’t be able to get a Medicare policy until three years from now.
You also have to have worked long enough to have earned a certain number of tax credits before you can be considered for disability benefits:
Under 24 – six tax credits in a three-year period ending when disability occurred
24 to 31 – requires credit for working half the time between the time you were 21 and when you became disabled
31 and over – 20 credits earned in the 10 years directly leading up to the disability
In some cases, you can get disability automatically upon diagnosis for conditions such as ALS and pancreatic cancer.
What happens next
Once you’ve met all the requirements, it’s time to look at what you can do. There’s nothing you have to do in particular once the Social Security benefits begin. At this time, you are just waiting for those 24 months to pass. Once that happens, you’ll get a Medicare card in the mail.
The Medicare coverage you’ll get will be Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Part A will take care of your hospital costs, and Part B covers you for all other medical services that take place outside the inpatient setting (however, dental, vision, and hearing services are excluded).
Make sure to show healthcare professionals your Medicare card prior to getting service so that the coverage will be applied correctly.
For more information
AJ Health and Wealth is proud to help you get started with a Medicare plan, no matter who you are or how old you are. What matters to us is that you are in need and that you can get a great health insurance policy at a low cost.