The approval rate for people applying for Social Security Disability for the first time is BAD. In some states, close to 90 percent of people will be denied. If you do persevere and get accepted, there’s another kicker: in most cases Medicare coverage won’t begin for two years. Social Security Disability can seem cruel as it makes disabled people wait so long for help with their health care.


A Little Background 

In 1935, when Social Security began, there was no provision for the disabled. Social Security was only intended to be a “survivors and old age” benefit. Fast forward to the 1950s, and Congress started fighting to add disability benefits. As you can imagine, one of the main dividing factors was price. As a compromise this 2 year waiting period was added as a cost-saving measure. 



Some serious conditions are exempt from this rule. ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, can get Medicare immediately. Spousal group health, COBRA, VA, Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are all options for health insurance prior to Medicare. Remember, the ACA can be very unaffordable. It’s based on your income, so you might pay as little as zero dollars a month or you could pay was much as $500 a month — in addition to a high deductible. 


Insurance Laws Don’t Guarantee the Same Rights 

Most people are eager to get on Medicare only to find out that insurance laws don’t guarantee the same rights to those on disability as to those 65 and over. In Indiana, like most states, insurance companies are not required to sell Medicare Supplements to those under age 65.

Many people know Medicare Supplement Plan G is the “Cadillac” plan. When they call any insurance company to purchase a plan, they are told it’s not available to those on SSDI. Most people stop looking at that point, not realizing Medicare Advantage (MAPD) plans are available. MAPD might be a great option forever, or only until you reach age 65. At age 65 – even if you’ve been on Medicare for years – you can start over as if you were just turning 65! This is a critical time to choose the Medicare Supplement Plan G you need. You can’t be turned down due to your health and the insurance company cannot charge you more. 

Need Help?

Contact your Medicare insurance specialist three months before your Medicare eligibility begins. For most people that will be 21 months after your first disability payment begins. 

This article was reposted with permission from the author. Click here for the original version.


Sylvia Gordon and her sister, Rebecca, run Gordon Marketing, one of the nation’s largest Medicare FMO/NMA offices. They have a team of over 100 that train and support independent insurance agents in all 50 states. You can find Sylvia’s weekly posts on LinkedIn and the sisters' Youtube channel posts 2 training videos each week. Contact Sylvia at or 800-388-8342.


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