Feeling confident in your family’s health care coverage can provide immeasurable peace of mind. This is particularly true when you or a family member is disabled. If you're considering applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you're probably curious about how this might affect your health care options. Can you maintain your Medicare coverage? Which insurers can you choose from? How do you go about choosing a new insurer, if necessary? The answers to these questions are critical—they can determine what kind of care you receive, and from whom. But the process of finding these answers can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking.
Consulting a team of experienced lawyers familiar with all the options available to you can make the process more efficient and less intimidating. The Georgia disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon have helped clients with thousands of successful applications, and they can help you find answers about how Social Security benefits affect health care options. Affleck & Gordon’s Social Security Disability lawyers understand that health care choices are among the most important anyone makes. Their mission is to help Georgians secure SSI and SSDI benefits, and they use their extensive knowledge to ensure their clients get approved. How do your healthcare options change if you're approved for SSDI benefits? How can our lawyers help you get approved for benefits and select healthcare coverage? Read on.
What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
The Social Security Administration’s benefits programs provide financial assistance to seniors and people with disabilities. The National Council on Aging describes Supplemental Security Income benefits as “minimum basic financial assistance to older adults and persons with disabilities (regardless of age) with very limited income and resources.” People qualify based on their age and/or disability, and due to limited income. State programs often supplement SSI benefits. Typical SSI payment amounts are up to $750 per month for an individual or $1,125 per month for a couple. Recipients may also qualify for food assistance. The Social Security disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon have deep knowledge of the Social Security Administration’s policies and practices in approving SSI applications and are ready to assist as you seek the SSI benefits you deserve.
In most states, SSI recipients automatically qualify for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is a health insurance program jointly funded by states and the federal government. It covers children, low-income individuals, and elderly and disabled Americans eligible for federally assisted income maintenance payments. Medicaid coverage typically includes doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays.
Social Security Disability Insurance, on the other hand, is intended to support disabled people with a qualifying work history, either through their employer or that of a spouse or parent. The amount of SSDI compensation one receives is determined by disability and work credits. SSDI beneficiaries automatically qualify for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period from the time SSDI benefits begin. See this helpful table to learn more about the differences between SSI and SSDI compensation.
Some people may qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits, if they meet the qualifications based on age, disability, income thresholds, and work credits. SSDI and SSI benefits may be reduced based upon any other income you receive, including Social Security benefits. The Georgia disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon can help you understand the differences between SSI and SSDI benefits and to help you avoid application mistakes. Approval for benefits is the first step in determining what health care coverage options are available. Affleck & Gordon’s disability lawyers are committed to helping Georgians get their benefits and make smart and timely health care choices for themselves and their families.
SSDI & Medicare
Many SSDI applicants are already enrolled in Medicare coverage. If you're approved for SSDI benefits and are currently a Medicare recipient, you qualify as having health care coverage under the law. This means you're not required to pay any penalty for lack of coverage. As an SSDI recipient, you're not permitted to enroll in a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace to replace or supplement your Medicare coverage. However, if you were enrolled in a Marketplace plan before receiving Medicare, your Marketplace plan can function as supplemental insurance with Medicare. If you make this choice, you’ll lose any tax credits and savings granted by your Marketplace plan.
The Medicare system also offers other supplemental options you may access as an SSDI recipient. Some SSDI recipients experience a standard 24-month waiting period before Medicare benefits begin. In this case, you can fill out an application, and you may be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage throughout the waiting period.
SSI, SSDI, and the Insurance Marketplace
The United States government operates the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace service helps people shop for and enroll in health insurance. You can find the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov for most states. Other states run their own insurance marketplaces. When you use the Marketplace, you may shop and enroll for plans through websites, call centers, and in-person help.
If you're seeking to become insured through the Insurance Marketplace, you will indicate whether you're a recipient of SSI or SSDI benefits. If you are, your application will be sent on to your state Medicaid office to determine whether you qualify based on your disability. The Medicaid office may contact you for further information. If you do not qualify for Medicaid based on disability alone, you may still be eligible based on your income. If you still don’t qualify, you can buy health coverage through the Insurance Marketplace. None of these plans can deny coverage or raise your rates because of your disability.
Georgia Disability Lawyers Can Answer Your Questions
Do you still have questions about how your SSDI and/or SSI benefits affect your choices for health care coverage? These programs and their benefits often overlap, and the details can be confusing. It’s a good idea to get help from legal experts. The team at Affleck & Gordon exists to help you understand the ins and outs of the Social Security Administration’s eligibility requirements and healthcare coverage options. They’ll help you make educated choices about your healthcare coverage options.
The attorneys at Affleck & Gordon are your hometown legal team; they’re more able than attorneys at national firms to dedicate their full care and attention to your claim. They also have critical insight into the local legal system, right down to individual judges. Your Social Security Disability lawyer should make you feel like you're not just another case to win, but a real person whose health care is on the line. Our Georgia disability lawyers work for you. Contact Affleck & Gordon for a free consultation today to learn more about how you can secure the right health care coverage for you and your family.