Thursday, April 23, 2009

Medicare for Disabled People


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If you are unable to work because of your health problems you may not have health insurance coverage. Most Americans receive their health insurance benefits through their employers. Some of us are lucky enough to have spouses whose employers cover us, but what are the rest of us to do?

One option that may be available to you is Medicare.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for people who are either over the age of 65 or who are considered disabled by the Social Security Administration. (Incidentally, it also covers people with end-stage renal disease.)

In order to qualify for Medicare as a disabled individual you must have been disabled according to Social Security's definition for two years.

Of course, being eligible is just the beginning. You then have to select from among a number of different, somewhat complicated options for coverage. You can opt for Medicare Part A (hospitalization coverage), Part B (additional medical coverage, but not including prescription benefits), any of a number of Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans, Part D (prescription benefits) or Medigap plans (plans through private insurers meant to cover the gaps in Medicare benefits).

Medicare Advantage plans are coverage through private insurance companies. They cover everything covered by Parts A and B and typically provide additional benefits that vary greatly from plan to plan, such as prescription drugs, dental or vision. These plans offer the most complete coverage for those who are able to afford them. Medicare Advantage plans are also more convenient for patients than other options because all benefits are coordinated through one company.

You can learn more about Medicare by visiting the government's official Medicare website:

Medicare.gov

If you have any questions about Medicare for disabled individuals feel free to post them here or e-mail me and I'll do my best to address them.

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