Medicare Premiums and SSDI
Even when you start receiving Medicare coverage, you'll likely still need to pay premiums for it every month, similar to how you pay premiums for conventional health insurance. There are also separate premiums for Part A and Part B. Almost everyone pays premiums for Part B. However, people only pay premiums for Part A if they didn't work long enough or pay enough Social Security taxes before they became disabled and began receiving SSDI. The amount you may need to pay for your Part A premium is determined by the length of time you worked in jobs that paid Social Security taxes.
Receiving SSDI won't cover your premiums; it only means you're eligible to start receiving Medicare coverage after the 24-month waiting period. If you need assistance covering the cost of your premiums, your state may have a program that can help.Typically, these are called Medicare Savings Programs. Contact your local department of social or health services to find out about whether this type of program exists and to determine your eligibility.
You may also need to pay premiums for Medicare Part D. These, too, vary based on the Part D plan you choose, but you may be eligible for assistance in covering the cost, depending on your income level. Part D also has a deductible, which some plans waive.
What Is Disability?
When people refer to "disability" in this context, they're talking about "disability insurance" or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is another program that the U.S. federal government provides, and it pays benefits to people who have become disabled and can't work. If you've worked for a certain length of time and paid Social Security taxes during that time, you may be eligible to receive SSDI payments when you become disabled. These payments can replace the income that you're no longer earning due to your inability to work the way you did before you became disabled.
There are certain conditions you need to meet in order to become eligible for SSDI. You must have experienced a physical or mental condition that is expected to affect your ability to work for at least a year or is expected to result in your death. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of certain conditions that it considers so severe that they're generally permanent or expected to cause death, but even if one of these conditions hasn't caused your disability, you may still be eligible for payments.
You must be unable to do the work that you did before. The Social Security Administration must also determine that your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to another type of gainful employment. Finally, you must have worked long enough during a certain time period before you became disabled; generally, you need to have worked for five of the previous 10 years and paid Social Security taxes. If you're currently working, you may not be eligible for SSDI benefits.