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Disability Income Insurance: While On Disability

What To Do If Disability Income Payments Stop Or You Are Informed That They May Stop.

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The answer depends on whether you are receiving income from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or a private disability income policy or plan.

Social Security Disability Insurance 

If your SSDI payments are discontinued for any reason, and you qualified for Medicare thanks to receiving SSDI payments, before you receive the last SSDI check, visit your Social Security office and tell your representative you want to continue your Medicare. Request the paperwork.

Once SSDI stops, you will have to start paying for Part A and B directly since A is no longer free, and there is no SSDI payment from which to deduct the premium for Part B.

Even if you get health insurance through an employer, consider keeping Medicare to fill in any potential gaps in coverage.

  • You will probably eliminate all fees, deductibles and co-pays.
  • You will reduce your overall medical bills to the more economical Medicare rate schedule rather than the higher rate schedule used by private insurance. This should decrease any part of the bills you pay.
  • Medicare has generous hospital coverage including psychiatric and substance abuse care, virtually unlimited medically necessary home health visits, and unlimited outpatient psychiatric care without the severe limitations imposed by most employer plans. Medicare also covers inpatient hospice care which many health plans don't cover at all.
  • You are always at risk of losing a job and its health insurance coverage. Medicare continues so long as you have your health condition whether you have a job or not.
  • If you are a federal employee, many of the federal employee plans "reward" you for signing up for Medicare by waiving deductibles and co-payments.

Private Income Plans

If your insurer informs you it is going to stop, or actually stops payments, think about whether you are still unable to work.

If you are not able to work, contact your lawyer, local office of a nonprofit organization relating to your health condition, or, in the case of a private carrier, your insurance broker for assistance.

If you feel comfortable representing yourself in a matter like this, speak with the supervisor in the area that makes the decision rather than the first person who answers the telephone. Explain why you continue to be disabled. Offer proof such as a letter from your doctor or affidavits from friends, relatives or other medical personnel who have enough first hand knowledge of your situation to be able to explain why you are unable to work.

If you have a good relationship with your former employer and the benefit is through the employer, consider whether the employer could use its clout with the insurer to help you.

If you get no satisfaction, call or write the president of the company.

If the situation seems totally unfair, contact the press. Survivorship A to Z tells you how to tell your story in a manner that makes it newsworthy. Click here.

If all else fails, contact your state Insurance Department: www. offsite link.

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