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After you have received your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits for a period of 24 months, you will be eligible to receive Medicare. And there’s no need to “sign up”—information about Medicare coverage will automatically be sent to you several months before your coverage begins.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, which may help you qualify to receive Medicare coverage sooner. For instance, if you have permanent kidney failure that requires that you receive regular dialysis or a transplant, or if you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”), you may qualify for Medicare coverage almost immediately.
If you are covered by Medicare and have a low income level, as well as few resources, you may also qualify for Medicaid. With Medicaid, your state can help pay the cost of your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, other “out-of-pocket” medical expenses like deductibles and coinsurance. Only your state can decide if you qualify for Medicaid, so you will need to contact your state or local welfare office or Medicaid agency to find out if you are eligible. More information is also available by calling the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law