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SS approved....but wait for Medicare???

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by allnighter, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. allnighter

    allnighter Guest

    Hi all -

    (Warning: I'm going to rant here!)

    Even if we're approved for Social Security disability, there's a 2 year wait to get government health insurance (Medicare).

    Helloooo....!!! If you approved me, then you agree I can't work due to illness or disability, and obviously I no longer have company benefits like GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE, right??? So why do I have to wait to be covered under Medicare? Doesn't it follow that sick/disabled people need health care more than ever?

    What do we do while we're waiting for 2 years?

    Private insurance, with pre-existing conditions, is ridiculously pricey... if they'll even cover you. So it's all about Cobra, which soaks up a huge chunk of the disability check. And may run out before Medicare kicks in.

    This is NUTS!! The whole system is out of control.... and many people are (financially) forced to risk it, and cancel their insurance. I know there's Medicaid. But if you have any assets, you're not eligible for it. (Until you go bankrupt from all of this, and lose everything you've worked for all your life).

    Too many people are out there right now, going without prescriptions, ignoring symptoms, not seeing a doc....and trying their best to hang on. Who knows how many have lost the battle, all alone.

    I've been reading a lot of other posts, & my heart goes out to all of them. It just makes me sick that we have such a screwed up system.

    (Okay, I'm done!)

    Thanks for listening, and blessings to you all -

  2. Dayle,

    I had to wait so very long to be granted Social Security and I was finally granted mine in November of 2007> Yeah!! I promptly received my first payment as well as my backpay. My children received their backpay in January and reeived their backpay starting in February. I received my Medicare card in January and I received a letter stating that my Medicare will become effective in March 2008.

    I have read that many will not have access to Medicare for over 2 years and I am confused as to why that is. Mind you, I am not complaning by no mean, why do others have to wait?

  3. sam101360

    sam101360 Registered


    The wait for medicare is from the day you became disabled, not the day you are approved. So if you became disabled in 2007 then you would be eligible for medicare in 2009.

    I agree that the system is very messed up. I have applied for disability, and am now waiting for my court date. I waited 3 years before I filed as I kept hoping I would get my disability date is in 2005, I would be eligible for medicare immediately if I ever get approved.

    They really need to look at shades of gray.

    Good luck - Stephanie
  4. Maia

    Maia Registered

    It really doesn't make sense does it? Especially as there are those people who actually do get approved on their first application and then they have to wait 1.5 years to get medicare health insurance... all the while very sick and probably in need of medical care/prescriptions, etc.

    You can't make COBRA payments while not working unless you're independently wealthy either. It is a very sad situation for many people...
  5. Jirel

    Jirel Registered

    Yeah, that's one of the things I'm worrying about for when and if. Since I will be on Long Term Disability payments I will not be eligible for Medicaid, so I have no possibility of help with medical payments, yet we all know just how expensive our perscription bills are. This is all so stupid!
  6. raggedyann1

    raggedyann1 Registered

    The system is mixed up and most people are not able to stick with the Cobra the way I was. We had a huge sticker shock getting HIPPA health insurance for my husband once the COBRA ran out but it would have cost us more to pay cash for his prescriptions let alone any doctors appointments.

    Hopefully in next decade the health system in the USA will get changed around. However read posts from members of other countries and there are issues for them also. There is no perfect system but ours is terribly broken. The price of health insurance is so much higher than congress ever anticipated when they created the Cobra law.

    Even if you don't qualify for Medicaid there are many drug companies that will arrange for you to get your meds free or nearly free. They generally get delivered via your doctors office. One of the many organizations that pools all the data is . Walmart and Walgreens are offering low cost generic prescriptions in many states now. I know the list is limited but I am aware of at least one member here who gets some of their meds that way. Get creative and you can find ways to get most medications. No you shouldn't have to do all that when you are so sick but it can be done. Recruit a friend or relative to do the leg work for you.

    Take care,
  7. sunflowergirl2

    sunflowergirl2 Registered

    :sad: It is ridiculous! I was approved for SSI last mo. Thank God, my hubby is paying alot of money to keep our insurance, COBRA. I still have medical expenses that are in collection! Our medical system (and government) are really messed up! Cathy
  8. audigg1

    audigg1 Guest

    I don't believe that people on SSI wait for medicaid coverage.

    SSDI has the two year wait. When it does kick in, it messes up private coverage because sometimes medicare is primary and other times the private insurance is primary.

    Don't forget that you can always try contacting the individual pharmaceutical companies to get free or low cost medications.

  9. dudley

    dudley Registered


    I agree. It is just part of the game. While I was awaiting approval for SSD and once I was approved I was paying threw the nose and that was on Cobra. Then I had to go on private insurance which was even more. I was never informed by my company that the cobra could be extented above the 18 months. The private insurance wiped out the small amount I had left. I was not eligble for medicaid. I still thank my lucky stars that I got approved for SSD.

    Just a footnote. When I was approved for SSD I was was put into a category that they thought I might recover in a year (I wish). I have to fill out new papers every year (CDR). I found out last year that all the papers that I filled out had never been reviewed. They were just put into a box. I am awaiting papers from SSD for this year. I have never received a letter from SSD stating that I have been approved or disaproved for another year or not. Don't ask. Don't want to open Pandoras (sp) box. I will turn 50 in July. I understand that this puts me into a total new category where they will not review me as much. I really don't know if they ever looked at the paper work that I have sent back to them. I did speak to a representative last year who was told to take the paper work out of the box. He was not a happy camper. I had to seen 22 different doc's the year in question.

    I do know that if you are suppose to see a doc or doctors and take meds etc. and you don't do it that they can pull your SSD.

    Ludicrouse yes. If you can't ..don't have the money
    for insurance . It does not matter. My drug bills are around 6 grand a month plus docs and blood test. Thank God I have insurance (know on medicare) and a program in NJ that covers all but 5 dollars of my presriptions at my income level.

    But on a CDR their is a big difference. If they think that you can go back to work they have to build a case to PROVE it. You do not have to prove that you are disabled. If they do say that you can go back to work you just have to appeal it. The checks will come in until they can prove
    that you are not disabled. If you do take this road however you are suppose to pay them back if they do build a case against you. In my case can't get blood from a stone.
  10. Karly1964

    Karly1964 Guest

    Yes, it makes no sense at all

    I was put on SSD in 1993 and recieved Medicare two years later, but since I am alone and was not working I was recieving Medicaid while I waited on the Medicare. ;) But, back then I was on disability because of my mental illness diagnoses, mentioned elsewhere in this site, I tired the first time to get disability with depression as my diagnosis and was denied, after about 14 different hospitalizations, a suicide attempt, and finally a placement in a psych. hospital in Indianapolis. :worried: After many tests and time I was given several diagnoses and the social worker reapplied for SSD for me, I received approval before leaving the hospital.;) What I don't understand is why isn't lupus and other dibilitating illnesses given equal status when it comes to getting disability. :mad: I cannot say which type of illness is worse for me, it all depends I think on when I was going through each one. Having all the physical diagnoses now limits my physical and emotional life both and threatens my life, the mental illness threatened my life on a day to day basis because of my own propensity to hurt myself.:worried: Now it is so hard to get on disability for lots of people. :mad: What kills me is that I have people who live in my building who get help with housework, laundry, bathing, meals, while all the time proving on a day to day basis that they can do it themselves. :eek: One woman, in her 50's with no physical illness has someone come in on a daily basis to comb her hair:sad: , clean her apartment and take out her trash, even make her bed. I have seen her do her own laundry, take out her own trash, do her own hair, go shopping, everything she is getting help with. In fact all the people in this building who recieve help for everyday chores I have seen doing exactly what they get help for. But when I or a friend of mine who has terminal cancer tried to get the same help we were told there is a two year waiting list. I will keep doing my best, the apartment may not be the cleanest, but I will not take help away from my friend who needs it before me. It truly is a seriously MESSED UP SYSTEM. Unfair in so many ways, I wish and hope for everyone who is in need to get what they need to keep them healthy and to make things equal. or at least for things to make more sense. Help us all. Karly
  11. Jirel

    Jirel Registered

    Gee, I wish I could get help with the housework. I can't afford it. I'm working but I just can't get to the housework when I get home. And since I live alone there's no one else to help.
  12. allnighter

    allnighter Guest

    Glad, but sad, I'm not alone!

    :wink2: Thanks for all the responses ~

    I think we're all in pretty much the same situation. No matter what our health situations are, or the benefits we're getting (or not getting), it seems the thing we have in common is we're all at the mercy of a system that doesn't have any clue about our real needs....and because we're all usually too sick & tired to do anything about it, we're not able to make our case known.

    We're struggling every month with finances (should I pay Cobra or the mortgage? Car insurance or the electric bill? )

    What's wrong with this picture? I think we need a voice...someone who will hear us....who know's what we're all going through.

    Anyone out there want to volunteer?

    I truly don't know where to start.

    Take care, be well.....and may JOY slap you all over this weekend!:lol:


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