Your Healthcare Safety Net – Medicare, Ready or Not?

Medicare is a government sponsored healthcare insurance program.

This program was instituted in 1965 to guarantee healthcare coverage to retirees, disabled persons and persons with end stage renal disease. The standard plan is divided into parts A (hospital care), B (outpatient).

What are the specific qualifications for the program as a retiree?

To qualify for this program as a retiree, an individual must be 65 years old or older and a legal resident of the United States for five or more years. If you or your spouse paid into the program for over 10 years while employed, your Plan A costs will be covered. Otherwise, there is a monthly premium for Plan A. The Plan B costs are approximately $100 per month.

What are the specific qualifications for the program when disabled?

If an individual is under 65 years of age, a legal resident of the United States for over 5 years and is disabled and qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on a permanent or temporary basis, that individual also qualifies for Medicare. A person does not actually become eligible to receive the healthcare benefits until they have been receiving SSDI for over 24 months. Once the individual is taken off SSDI, their healthcare eligibility is terminated.

Are there other ways to qualify for Medicare?

The answer is yes. Persons with end stage renal disease can qualify for Medicare benefits. This will include individuals who require continual dialysis treatments as well as individuals who will require a kidney.

Can you maintain other coverages?

Individuals who are receiving SSDI may qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid based on the state they reside within as well as their income level. Otherwise, individuals may opt to maintain other supplemental coverages for hospitalization or prescriptions.

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