Bridging the Social Security Medicare waiting period

If you have been approved for Social Security disability (Title 2 – Social Security Disability Insurance), you already know Social Security Medicare health insurance does not start until you receive 24 months of disability benefits.*

While this waiting period includes back period months, many people still have to wait a year or longer to become eligible for Medicare. So, you have some money coming in from Social Security. However it is not enough to get private health insurance. And, you may be getting too much in monthly Social Security benefits to be eligible for Medicaid. So, how do you bridge the Social Security Medicare health insurance waiting period?

Talk about a rock and hard place situation!

However, there it is little known program under the Colorado Health Care Affordability Act that lets you “buy-in” to Medicaid during this waiting period. It is called the Medicaid buy-In Program. There are separate programs for adult and children. Note: the program is not only for people waiting to be eligible for Medicare benefits. However, it may help you if you are in that situation. Keep in mind that this program is for people who are disabled. For more information, take a look at this information sheet (pdf link).

The “buy-in” part is that you pay a premium based on your family size and income (premiums go from $0 to $200 per month). Here is the premium information sheet.

*Note: the one exception that let’s Social Security waive the 24 month waiting period is in cases of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

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