Are you receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?
If yes, you normally will be eligible for Medicare the first of the 25th month after you begin receiving disability benefits. You will automatically receive your Medicare card about 3 months before the month in which you are eligible for Medicare. You do not need to register for Medicare.
Exception: If you are diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease, you become eligible as soon as Social Security receives notice of your diagnosis.
Have you been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?
If yes, you are generally eligible for Medicare four months after you begin dialysis. In some cases you may be eligible sooner. Check with Social Security.
Normal enrollment will be into both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Depending upon the amount of work credits you have, you may or may not have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A. You will be expected to pay premiums for Medicare Part B.
Medicare Supplement:When Medicare standardized Medicare Supplement plans, it was left to the states to determine if that state was going to require the companies offering Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans) to offer these plans to people under the age of 65. The Idaho Department of Insurance recently amended its rule regarding Medicare Supplement insurance to include coverage for Medicare-eligible individuals under age 65 with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Previously these plans were only available to individuals age 65 and older. Eligible individuals can sign up for coverage effective January 1, 2018, including those who previously missed their six-month enrollment window. Companies will be permitted to charge up to 150% of the age 65 premiums.
Medicare Advantage: When Congress enacted the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, they excluded ESRD cases from those who would be covered under the MA plans. There is an exception that if the person was covered for health insurance by a company that offers MA plans until becoming eligible for Medicare, that company must offer the person a MA plan.
People under the age of 65 who are not ESRD patients at the time of coverage cannot be denied a MA plan offered in the county in which they live.
All persons with Medicare, whether Part A, Part B or both are eligible for a prescription drug plan, but can only be enrolled in one drug plan at a time. So if you have drug coverage through a retiree plan or some other option, excluding Veterans benefits, joining a Medicare drug plan may result in your being disenrolled from the other coverage.