Understanding how Medicare works can be immensely confusing. You may consult the Medicare website for answers about qualifications among other things, and you become even more confused than you were before reading the materials found on that site. To clear up confusion about Medicare qualifications, it is fitting to have a look at the five signs your family qualifies for Medicare that are outlined below.
If you or any members of your family reach the age of 65, then they automatically qualify for Medicare. However, Medicare does not kick in upon turning 65. You or eligible family members will need to sign up for coverage. If you or any family members are approaching the age of 65, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B as early as three months before their 65th birthday by contacting the Social Security Administration.
Suffering From End-Stage Kidney Failure or Have Been Diagnosed With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
If you or anyone in your family has been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease, then any of you who qualify are eligible to receive Medicare. End-Stage Renal Disease means that there is permanent damage to the kidney so much that the only means of staying alive is to receive regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. Even children can be eligible for Medicare if they meet the criteria for being diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease.
For your child with End-Stage Renal Disease to qualify for Medicare, you or your spouse must also have earned at least six work credits within the past three years, and either one of you will have paid Social Security taxes. Or, you or your spouse are receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you or your spouse do not meet the above criteria, your child will not qualify for Medicare.
Those who have a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, can receive Medicare coverage as soon as Social Security payments begin. When filling out the application, it is critical to specifically state the diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and provide proof of this diagnosis so all runs smoothly. It is also beneficial to attach medical records to the application to provide proof of diagnosis.
If Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is not specifically mentioned on the Social Security application, there is a serious risk that benefits and insurance will be delayed. Having a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or End-Stage Renal Disease will allow Medicare coverage to be provided automatically. There is no 24-month waiting period.
If you or anyone in your family receive retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement program, this is a means to qualify for Medicare. Railroad Retirement benefits are given to those who have spent much of their employees working on America’s railroads. Railroad Retirement benefits will kick in once a railroad worker turns 65 years of age or becomes disabled. If you or anyone in your family is receiving Railroad Retirement benefits because of a disability, there is a 24-month waiting period to receive Medicare which begins after benefits start.
If you have worked and have paid enough Social Security taxes into the system, you can qualify for Social Security Disability if you become disabled.
Applying for Medicare can be so confusing. You will be told many different things along the way that will be contradictory, and you will find that navigating the Medicare website is worse than going through a foggy corn maze on Halloween. While this is no comprehensive Medicare for dummies guide, some important things you need to know about Medicare to make your life easier will be outlined as follows.
You may think that when you apply for Medicare that you contact Medicare directly. After all, that is what makes sense. However, when you sign up for Medicare, you do so through either the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. The reason that you sign up for Medicare in this way is that the Social Security Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board are the agencies that determine your eligibility.
When you or any members of your family are signing up for Medicare, you need to be aware of the enrollment periods. The initial enrollment period is seven months long. This initial enrollment period begins three months before turning 65 and three months after the 65th birthday. Those who have private insurance from employers can delay Medicare enrollment and enroll at a later time during a special enrollment period. If you or others in your family do not enroll during these enrollment periods, enrollment is still possible. However, penalties can be incurred.
Medicare does not cover everything. Patients are generally responsible for 20% of medical costs. You or anyone else in your family who qualifies can purchase Medicare advantage policies to help cover what Medicare does not.
Generally, Medicare does not offer family insurance. In some situations, however, Medicare will ensure spouses, disabled children, widows, or widowers. Of course, specific criteria must be met for these family members to be eligible for Medicare.
Spouses, widows, and widowers can receive hospital insurance when they reach the age of 65 depending on their work history. Dependent children, spouses, widows, and widowers can receive Medicare under the age of 65 if they are disabled and meet the criteria for being considered disabled by the Social Security Administration.
Once you understand the Nuances of Medicare, you can guarantee that you and your family can take advantage of the programs that are available to you to receive the help you need. What is more, you will not have to contend with all the hassle that comes with trying to navigate the foggy maze on the Medicare site.