Medicare is a key source of health insurance for folks with disabilities who are under 65. You can get Medicare if you’re under age 65 and have:
- Gotten Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months, or have
- End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also called “Lou Gehrig’s disease”)
About the Waiting Period
After a beneficiary is considered disabled, there’s a five-month waiting period before he or she starts to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). So, SSDI recipients have to wait 29 months before their Medicare benefits begin.
People under 65 who are diagnosed with ESRD or ALS automatically qualify for Medicare without a waiting period.
Medicare Under 65: Eligibility Requirements
For people with ESRD and ALS, here are the Medicare under 65 eligibility requirements:
- ESRD – Typically three months after regular dialysis starts or after a kidney transplant.
- ALS – Immediately upon collecting Social Security Disability benefits.
If you qualify for Social Security Disability, you’re auto-enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
If you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability, you may purchase Medicare by paying monthly premiums for Parts A and B.
Why Medicare Under 65 Is Important
Younger beneficiaries may have crucial needs, depending on their disability. Unfortunately, disabled people often have lower incomes, need more health care, and have a more difficult time paying for care than older beneficiaries. People with disabilities are also more likely to have mental liabilities, poor health, and daily activity constraints.
Medicare Under 65: Available Benefits
You get the same benefits whether you qualify for Medicare based on disability or age. If you’re eligible, you’ll get access to the complete range of benefits, which includes select hospital, physician, nursing home, and community-based services. The health care service doesn’t have to be connected to the disability to be covered.
Medicare Under 65: How to Enroll
If you qualify for SSDI, you should receive a Medicare card when the waiting period has ended. If you don’t get a card or you have other concerns, call your Social Security office.
What Happens When You Turn 65?
When you turn 65, your Medicare coverage continues.
Don’t let a disability keep you from getting the health insurance you need. For questions about Medicare under 65 or anything Medicare related, contact Trusted Senior Specialists at (844) 325-8710.