Your current health insurance plan should not affect your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you receive disability benefits, you will be able to keep your current health insurance and use it in addition to Medicare or Medicaid coverage.
The qualifications and rules surrounding the disability application process can be complex. If you have questions, need help filing your claim, or need to appeal a denial, the disability attorneys at Berger and Green are here to help you. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 to schedule a time for your free initial consultation. We can explain how health insurance affects SSDI or SSI.
How Do Disability Benefits Affect Medicare or Medicaid?
Both SSDI and SSI provide income for those who suffer from disabling impairments and cannot work. SSDI provides for workers who can no longer continue their careers, while SSI is a need-based program for those with few assets and little income.
Those who meet the eligibility requirements for SSI also qualify for Medicaid coverage. If you apply for SSI and receive approval, you will qualify for Medicaid coverage as well. However, you can still keep your own insurance policy.
If you receive SSDI, you do not automatically qualify for Medicare insurance coverage. Instead, there is a 24-month qualifying period. After this period, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will enroll you in traditional Medicare automatically, or you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage program. You will receive free coverage for hospital and inpatient expenses. Many people also choose to pay for Medicare Part B, which offers coverage for regular doctor’s visits and other outpatient care for these benefits. You may opt out of this if you have other coverage, though. Please be aware that some other coverage carriers will terminate your benefits if you qualify for Medicare and do not take it. You will need to check with your carrier.
Will My Current Health Insurance Work With Medicare and Medicaid?
While you can qualify for disability programs with your current health insurance plan, understanding how it will work with Medicare or Medicaid is more complicated. For the first two years you have SSDI, you probably will not have Medicare, so this is not an issue. After this period, though, it is important to understand how they will interact.
When Medicare kicks in, it will either become your primary insurance over your current insurance plan, or it will serve as a secondary insurance to this plan. Your primary insurance always pays out to cover your bills first. Once your benefits from that plan cover costs up to your limit, your secondary insurance kicks in. This should pay a portion of your leftover costs, if not the rest of your bill. In this way, your secondary insurance supplements the primary policy.
Medicaid always acts as your primary insurance, while your current health insurance will act as the secondary plan.
Can an Attorney Help Me Understand How My Current Health Insurance Works With SSDI or SSI?
Our Pittsburgh disability attorneys understand the rules governing the SSDI and SSI programs inside and out. We can answer any questions you may have about the process and help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when they file for disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
Planning ahead and preparing as best as possible before applying for benefits is key in ensuring your application is complete. If you have private insurance, we can also help you look at how it will work with your Medicare or Medicaid benefits. We can also address any other concerns you have about disability programs and your private health insurance.
Perhaps most importantly, we can help you complete your application and present your case for benefits as effectively as possible. While we cannot guarantee approval, we do know what disability determination examiners are looking for in a qualifying claim. We will also continue to fight for your benefits through the appeals process if necessary to secure the SSDI or SSI payments you deserve.
How Can I Reach a Pittsburgh Disability Attorney?
At Berger and Green, our disability lawyers are ready to take your call. We can help you file your application, understand your benefits, or file an appeal if the SSA denied your initial claim. Call our Pittsburgh office at 412-661-1400 today for a free consultation.