Medicare, Disability Benefits and Obamacare

The big political news during the last week of June was of course the decision from the US Supreme Court upholding the majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) (commonly referred to as “Obamacare” by both critics and supporters of the legislation). The one change that the Supreme Court demanded was to the expansion of Medicaid under the PPACA. While the legislation originally conditioned all Medicaid funding on a state’s acceptance of the expansion, the Supreme Court ruled that only the expansion could be conditional; that is, states can stick with their original Medicaid program without fear of losing it if they do not accept the expansion.

How Does Medicaid and Medicare Work with Disability Benefits?

Remember that Medicaid and Medicare are two different programs. Medicare is a form of federal health insurance; it is mostly for Americans aged 65 and older, but younger Americans with disabilities can also qualify for it. Medicaid is a health program that depends on your income and assets (similar to SSI benefits eligibility). We will discuss Medicaid later in the week.

If you receive SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration automatically enrolls you in Medicare after two years of benefits. You should receive information from Social Security a few months before you are eligible for Medicare coverage, and you can get health coverage through all of the parts of Medicare. Part A covers hospitalization costs and follow up care, and, because it is funded through your tax contributions while you were working, you do not have to pay anything for Part A coverage.

Part B of Medicare is similar to traditional health insurance, as it covers doctor visits and outpatient medical care. After two years as an SSDI beneficiary, you are eligible for Part B coverage, but you do have to pay a monthly premium for it.

You are also eligible for the other parts of Medicare coverage. Part C includes private company insurance options. Part D provides prescription drug benefits. Parts B, C and D all require monthly premiums for coverage. On Wednesday, we will discuss the impact of the PPACA for disability beneficiaries and Medicare coverage.

Have you recently suffered a disability or medical condition that prevents you from working or obtaining health insurance coverage? Speak to one of our Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security disability attorneys to learn whether you might qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys



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