Many people automatically associate Medicare with seniors and for the most part, that assumptions pretty correct but not entirely. There's a whole other category of people for whom Medicare is life send for them and they may not be close to age 65. Medicare is also available to people who have been deemed permanently disabled according to Social Security rules. Let's take a look at what is commonly referred to as pre-65 Medicare for the permanently disabled and also understand how Medicare supplement insurance plans conform to this less typical eligibility.
Permanently and totally disabled is the official term that Social Security uses to described someone who is then eligible for various benefits including Medicare prior to age 65. The "Permanent" part of the equation is important since a temporary situation will not make you eligible. It must be a situation that not only will not change but prohibits you from returning to the workforce in any meaningful way. This is the only way to get Medicare prior to age 65. Disability coverage was added in 1956 with the Social Security Disability Insurance (or DI for Short) and it was one of the largest expansions of the original Medicare plan and eligible base since the original plan was launched in 1935.
It's important if you are permanently disabled (which is a process undertaken through your local Social Security office) to make sure to follow their instructions to the letter especially in terms of time tables and requirements. You do not want to be in a situation where you did not submit paperwork (say to elect Part B) in a certain window and will therefore have to wait for a period of time before Medicare is available to you. We get these calls frequently and it's always disheartening since there's not much we (or the applicant) can do and quite frequently, the pre-65 disabled member has significant health issues and no other insurance. Unless they had existing coverage (pre-65 individual/family or group based coverage), they will likely not be able to qualify for other coverage except for maybe PCIP, the Federal pre-existing condition plan for people without prior coverage for at least 6 months. There are four important parts to make sure transpire smoothly for pre-65 Medicare. First, is your designation of permanently and totally disabled. Secondly, you want to make sure your Part A for Medicare is installed. You also want to make sure your Part B (physician costs with Medicare) is opted (much be elected voluntarily) within a certain time constraint from Part A and disabled status dates. Finally, you need to make sure to apply for your chosen Medicare supplement insurance plan and Part D for medication within a certain time from Part A/Part Medicare enrollment.
This bring us to our discussion of Medicare supplement insurance for pre-65 disabled people. Although the Medicare supplement insurance plans are standardized by the government so that an F plan is an F plan, whether over or under age 65, there can be some differences. For one, some carriers may not offer a full range of the plans available under Medicare. For example, they may only have the F plan. The rates can be different for pre-65 Medicare supplements as well than for over age 65. It's important when researching everything you need to do for pre-65 Medicare with disability that you deal with an experience Medicare Supplement broker and really compare the medigap plans and quotes available to you.