When Does Medicare Start After Disability

When Does Medicare Start After Disability

Medicare start after disability starts automatically for people who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for 24 months. This waiting period begins from the date they qualify for SSDI, not necessarily from the date they first become disabled. So, for example, if someone is approved for SSDI benefits in January 2022, their Medicare coverage would generally start in January 2024. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as for those with certain conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), who may qualify for 


Medicare coverage initiation hinges upon your enrollment timing and the specific enrollment window you fall within. Here’s a breakdown of the essential details:

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

  • Typically, it commences at age 65.
  • It spans 7 months, kicking off 3 months before your 65th birthday and concluding 3 months after.
  • Coverage becomes effective on the first day of the month.
  • Missing your IEP could result in a waiting period and incur a monthly late enrollment penalty for Part B coverage.
  • The penalty escalates with each month of delay.
  • If eligible for premium-free Part A, coverage begins either in the month you turn 65 or the preceding month if your birthday falls on the first day of the month.

Part B Coverage Commencement

  • If enrolled before turning 65, coverage starts upon reaching 65.
  • Enrolling during the month of your 65th birthday or the subsequent 3 months leads to coverage beginning the following month.
  • Opting for premium-free Part A at a later date triggers coverage retroactively by 6 months from the sign-up or Social Security benefit application date.
  • For those with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), enrollment for Part B and Premium-Part A is restricted to the General Enrollment Period, occurring annually from January 1 to March 31.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

  • Accessible post-IEP.
  • Certain circumstances permit Part B (and Premium-Part A) enrollment sans a late enrollment penalty.
  • SEP availability is time-limited.
  • Failing to enrol during SEP necessitates awaiting the subsequent General Enrollment Period, possibly incurring a monthly late enrollment penalty.

Disability Benefits

Medicare provides health insurance for people 65 and older, and some younger people with disabilities. If you receive disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or through the Railroad Retirement Board for a specified period of time, you may be eligible for Medicare benefits, regardless of age.

There is generally a 24-month waiting period after you begin receiving SSDI benefits before you qualify for Medicare. However, this waiting period can be waiver for certain conditions, such as those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Once you qualify for Medicare due to a disability, you will receive the same benefits as those who qualify based on age. This usually includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), and you may also have the option to enrol in Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) and Medicare Advantage ( Medicare Part C) programs for additional charges

It is important to note that although Medicare provides adequate coverage, it does not cover all healthcare costs, so individuals may still have out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, premiums, and co-insurance.

Read more: How Much Does Medicare Supplement Cost


Medicare start after disability a waiting period following the onset of disability. For most individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is a 24-month waiting period before Medicare coverage begins. However, exceptions exist for those with certain conditions, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), who may qualify for Medicare sooner. It’s advisable to check with the Social Security Administration or Medicare to determine the specific start date of your Medicare coverage based on your circumstances.

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