Jorgensen Law

24 Month Wait Period for Medicare

The reason for the 24 month waiting period is mainly for the government to save money and to ensure that only those with a long-term disability will receive Medicare.

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older and for some disabled people under 65 years of age. Medicare is funded by the United States government. If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits then you are also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month qualifying period.

The reason for the 24 month waiting period is mainly for the government to save money and to ensure that only those with a long-term disability will receive Medicare.

Prior to 1972, Medicare was only for the aged. When Medicare was expanded in 1972 to include people who have significant disabilities, lawmakers created a “Medicare Waiting Period.” Before they can get Medicare coverage, people with disabilities must first receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months.

There have been many attempts to pass new legislation that would phase out this 24 month waiting period; however, for the time being, those who receive SSDI must still wait 24 months before they can receive Medicare benefits.

 

There are a few exceptions to the 24 month waiting period.

If you have permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a transplant or you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), you may qualify for Medicare almost immediately.

If you have been denied disability benefits, or if you are going to apply for disability benefits, talk with an experienced disability attorney. Click here for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney in the Southern California area (San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, etc…).