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Jan. 26, 2021, 5:13 p.m. EST

Qualifying for Medicare disability

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By Home Media

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Some people with disabilities qualify for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP). These plans always include Part D coverage. They usually have $0 premiums and $0 deductibles, and include extra benefits such as dental, vision, and care coordination to help you manage your condition. Benefits are specifically tailored to help keep costs low.

RELATED: Find out if there are Medicare Advantage plans in your area.

Under federal law, insurance companies aren’t required to sell Medicare Supplement plans to people under age 65. If you become eligible for Medicare disability before you turn 65, you may not be able to buy Medigap.

The good news is that 33 states currently have laws requiring insurers to sell at least one of the standardized Medicare Supplement plans to people under 65 who are enrolled in Medicare. This means that if a company sells Medigap plans in the state, it must offer at least one type of plan to people who are under 65 and on Medicare disability.

People who get Medicare disability due to ESRD may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement plan . Not all states that require insurers to sell Medigap to people under age 65 extend that protection to people with ESRD. For this reason, if you have ESRD, it is advised that you check with your state insurance department to see how the laws affect you.

RELATED: Find the right Medicare Supplement plan option for you here.

There is only one Medigap Open Enrollment Period . It begins the month you are both age 65 (or over) and enrolled in Part B.

If you get Medicare before age 65, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan , but you’re not guaranteed coverage. If you live in one of the states listed above, you will be able to buy at least one plan, but the insurance company can charge you a much higher premium. You also may not be able to get the type of coverage you want.

When you turn 65, you will have guaranteed issue rights during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This means you can buy any plan sold in your state, and you can’t be charged a higher premium because of your disability.

If you are worried about budgeting for health care costs and you can’t get a Medicare Supplement plan until you turn 65, a Medicare Advantage plan could be a good alternative for you.

Medicare is a lifeline for people with disabilities who worry about health-care costs. You’re not locked into Original Medicare if a Medicare Advantage plan better meets your needs. Many people with disabilities qualify for low-cost Special Needs Plans with extra benefits and services to help you manage your condition.

If you’re interested in a Medicare Supplement plan, talk to your disability benefits coordinator or state insurance department to find out how state law affects your eligibility. You can also talk to a licensed Medicare professional at 844-259-6504 to help you make sense of your options and choose the best coverage to fit your unique needs.

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