Medicare through Social Security Disability in New Jersey - You Don't Just Age into the System
Medicare is government health insurance, and the majority of recipients are of the program age in by turning 65, but those are not the only people that qualify. In New Jersey and nationwide, persons under 65 can enroll in Medicare under specific circumstances, and it's important to know the specifics. It could be that you or someone you love can enroll in the program, allowing them to better manage their healthcare, and they do not have to wait until their golden years to do it. More to the point, if they qualify, then they shouldn't have to wait that long.
Outside of the 65+ Crowd, Who Qualifies for Medicare and Under What Circumstances?
In the state of New Jersey, US citizens can enroll (or may be automatically enrolled) in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) if they meet any of the following criteria in the list below:
- You are under the age of 65 but are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits and have been for at least 24 months (2 years). After 24 months, you are automatically enrolled.
- You have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). This immediately qualifies you without needing a waiting period. You're automatically enrolled in the same month as your Social Security benefits begin.
- You have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is permanent kidney failure, meaning you need either a transplant or regular dialysis. You must manually enroll if this is the case, as enrollment is not automatic.
- You are under the age of 65 and worked for the railroad and are now eligible for disability benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board. After 24 months, you are automatically enrolled.
There are some other points if you fall into the ESRD category, in New Jersey or elsewhere in the US. For instance, if you require a transplant, your benefits begin when an approved specialist has scheduled your surgery, usually in the same month. It's important to consult with your doctor and possibly a Medicare broker to comb through the finer details.
How Do You Manually Enroll in Medicare?
There is an initial enrollment period, as with age-eligible patients, which begins three months before you become eligible and lasts a for 3 months after your are eligible. To manually enroll in Medicare in New Jersey, you want to contact your Social Security Office by doing any of the following:
- Go online at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/ to begin the enrollment process.
- Contact Social Security via phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-325-0778). Lines are open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
- Visit your local Social Security office. Your local office can be found here- https://www.njmedicarebrokers.com/medicare-resources/when-does-medicare-start
You want to make sure you have all the relevant documentation regarding your diagnosis, and it's important to begin the process as soon as possible. Remember you can begin as early as three months before eligibility kicks in.
Consult Your Medicare Eligibility with a Medicare Broker
No matter where you live in the state of New Jersey, remember that if you have questions about the details to do with Medicare, it's never too late to consult with a Medicare broker. These people are professionals with zero ties to the government or the insurance industry and are therefore unbiased. Consult with someone at New Jersey Medicare Brokers to have any of your hard questions answered for peace of mind.