Income Guidelines for Disability With Medicare

If you are disabled or blind, you might be eligible to enroll in Medicare, even if you are not yet 65-years old. Medicare provides health insurance to American citizens who have paid Medicare tax. However, if you have never paid Medicare tax, you might still be able to purchase Medicare insurance once you turn 65 years of age. You cannot receive Medicare for free if you have never paid these taxes, even if you are disabled.

Medicare and Disability

If you are disabled and you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, you are entitled to receive Medicare coverage after 24 months of benefits. Your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits start automatically on the 25th month that you receive disability benefits. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, and it is free for all recipients who have paid Medicare tax. Medicare Part B is medical insurance, and unlike Part A, it is not free. If you want to drop Part B coverage, you are allowed to do so. You can choose to add additional Medicare coverage if you are willing to pay more per month.

Social Security Disability and Income

To receive Social Security Disability benefits and be eligible to get Medicare coverage, your disability must impede you from working at a regular job. If you do work, your income cannot be higher than $1,000 per month (as of 2011). You are also eligible to receive these benefits if you are blind and cannot earn more than $1,640 per month. If you start earning more than the limits that apply to your case, your benefits end. However, if you are blind and you reach 55 years of age, your benefits are only suspended, not terminated, and the Social Security Administration pays you benefits for any months in which your income falls below that limit.

Medicare and Income

The income guidelines for Medicare when you are disabled are the same as the income guidelines for your disability benefits. Your eligibility for Medicare is dependent upon your eligibility for Social Security Disability. The actual Medicare program does not have limitations on your income: you can earn as much as possible, and you are still eligible to enroll in Medicare. However, your income does influence how much you pay in premiums for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D, which is prescription drug coverage. As your income increases, your premiums also increase.

Medicare While Working

If you have Medicare coverage because you are disabled, you must meet the income limits mentioned above. As explained, you can work as long as your earnings are lower than the allowable limits. However, if you start earning more, your disability benefits end. If your disability benefits end because you are working and your income is higher than the monthly limit, your Medicare also ends. However, Medicare continues for eight and a half years while you are working, starting from the moment you lose your disability benefits. After this time, you can buy Medicare coverage or purchase private insurance. If you reach age 65 before the eight years have passed, your coverage continues until you die.