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People with disabilities

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) & Medicare coverage

If you get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you probably have Medicare or are in a 24-month waiting period before it starts. You have options in either case.

If you get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and have Medicare

  • Youโ€™re considered covered under the health care law and donโ€™t have to pay the penalty that people without coverage must pay.
  • You canโ€™t enroll in a Marketplace plan to replace or supplement your Medicare coverage.

If you get SSDI benefits and are in a 24-month waiting period before getting Medicare

  • You may be able to get Medicaid coverage while you wait. You can apply 2 ways:
    • Create an account or log in to complete an application. Answer โ€œyesโ€ when asked if you have a disability. Weโ€™ll forward your application to your state Medicaid agency.
    • Apply directly to your state Medicaid agency. Select your state from the menu on this Medicaid page for contact information.
  • If youโ€™re eligible for Medicaid, your Medicaid eligibility may continue even after you enroll in Medicare.
  • If youโ€™re turned down for Medicaid, you may be able to enroll in a private health plan through the Marketplace while waiting for your Medicare coverage to start. You may qualify for lower costs on Marketplace coverage based on your income and household size.
When asked about your income on your Marketplace application, be sure to include your SSDI income.