Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I’m eligible for disability benefits?
You will receive Medicare after you receive disability benefits for 24 months. When you become eligible for disability benefits, we will automatically enroll you in Medicare. We start counting the 24 months from the month you were entitled to receive disability, not the month when you received your first check. Residents of Puerto Rico or foreign countries will not receive Part B automatically. They must elect this benefit. Special rules apply to:
- End-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure). People with permanent kidney failure get Medicare beginning the third month after the month a regular course of renal dialysis begins; or the month of kidney transplantation.
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis get Medicare beginning with the month they become entitled to disability benefits.
Medicare has four parts:
- Hospital insurance (Part A) helps pay hospital bills and some follow-up care. The taxes you paid while you were working financed this coverage, so it’s premium free.
- Medical insurance (Part B) helps pay doctors’ bills and other services. There is a monthly premium you must pay for Medicare Part B and you have the option to refuse this coverage.
- Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans generally cover many of the same benefits a Medigap policy would cover, such as extra days in the hospital after you have used the number of days Medicare covers. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organization under Part C. There might be additional premiums required for some plans; and
- Prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. Anyone who has Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is eligible for prescription drug coverage (Part D). Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage.