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SSDI Benefits and Medicare

A frequent question asked by Ohioans who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits is whether they can receive help with paying for medical insurance. The answer is “Yes” with certain conditions.

Persons who suffer from a physical disability and who receive SSDI benefits are eligible for Medicare coverage after a waiting period of 24 months. The 24-month period begins on the date of eligibility for SSDI benefits. It should be noted that Medicare coverage for the general population begins at age 65, but SSDI benefit recipients are eligible regardless of age.

During the 24-month waiting period, an SSDI beneficiary may be eligible for insurance coverage through a former employer. Disability benefit recipients are eligible to receive both Medicare Parts A and B coverage without cost to them as long as they are eligible for benefits.

Another important question is whether Medicare coverage will continue if the beneficiary returns to work and is able to perform substantial gainful activity. A disability benefits recipient will receive up to 93 months of hospital and medical insurance coverage after the trial work period if the disabling impairment still exists. After the 93-month period ends, and if the beneficiary still suffers from a disabling impairment, he or she can purchase Medicare insurance for the same premium paid by non-disabled retired persons over age 65.

Anyone with a question about the relationship between SSDI benefits, Medicare and private medical insurance may wish to understand his or her situation better so proper steps can be taken. There are many factors to consider whether you are filing for benefits or currently receiving them; therefore, applicants and beneficiaries should be aware of their rights and options when it comes to SSDI benefits and Medicare coverage.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Medicare Information,” accessed on July 3, 2016

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