About Medicare Disability Benefits
Medicare is a program, available to eligible U.S. citizens, that does not have a separate entity for disability benefits. Medicaid and Medicare are two separate programs that work together to help people such as those who are disabled. A simple distinction between the two is that Medicaid is state run, while Medicare is federally governed.
One of the eligibility requirements for receiving Medicare benefits is being considered disabled by the Social Security Administration. In fact, you can not apply for Medicare benefits on your own. You have to apply via the Social Security Administration and you can only do this if you meet the following requirements:
1. Age 65+ or are determined to be blind or disabled
2. You must also meet the following:
a. Have limited income or resources
b. Are a U.S. citizen or national
For a complete list of all eligibility requirements please visit www.ssa.gov. Once SSA has approved your application to receive Medicare benefits, you will be eligible for one or a combination of the four parts that make up Medicare benefits, Parts A through D.
Medicare Part A
The first of the four Medicare benefit parts disabled persons are eligible for is Medicare Part A. Part A, covers hospital insurance. If you are disabled and do not work, there is no cost for his coverage if you have received Social Security benefits for your disability for at least 24 months. Medicare Part A covers the following hospital services:
– Inpatient hospital care
– Critical access hospitals that deliver limited inpatient and outpatient care to rural areas
– Nursing facilities for non-custodial and short-term care
– And some health care (to be determined by Medicare)
If you return to work, but are still deemed disabled and no longer receive premium-free Medicare Part A, your state can help you pay for it. More information can be obtained by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers medical insurance. In 2009, the starting premium for Part B is listed at $96.40 per month and is subject to change in January 2010. This premium is taken automatically from your Social Security Disability check each month. Enrollment in Part B is a choice and it is advisable for disabled persons to enroll in the program which covers the following medical services:
– Doctor’s visits and services
– Outpatient hospital care
– Physical and occupational therapy
– Home health care
– Certain supplies that Medicare may choose to cover the cost for such as nebulizers and diabetes testing supplies
Medicare Parts C and D
Medicare Part C is also known as Medical Advantage. A Medical Advantage Plan is similar to a HMO or PPO of which Medicare has a list of providers available. Medical Advantage helps to cover services not found under Medicare Part A such as cosmetic services.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage that is offered. Part D coverage gives disabled persons receiving Medicare benefits access to medicine that can prevent complications from diseases. In order to receive this coverage you must join a plan, preferably one found in Part C’s list of providers, or any insurance company approved by Medicare.
Medicare is an off-branch of the Social Security Administration. If you are considered disabled by Social Security then you are eligible for Medicare after 2 years of receiving Social Security benefits. Social Security will provide you with the information you need regarding Medicare and will send you documentation concerning the program. If you enroll in Medicare Part B and can not afford to have the premium taken out of your check, visit your local Social Service office for assistance. Medicare and Social Security work hand in hand, but remember you can not receive Medicare without first having received Social Security approval.