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    Investigate Long- and Short-term Disability Insurance

    If you are no longer able to work, look into these options:

    • Private disability insurance. Check to see if your employer has private disability insurance, and contact your human resources department to investigate your eligibility, the cost of enrolling, and how much of your salary it will cover.
    • State-run disability programs. If you are too young to qualify for Social Security, state-run disability programs may be an option, unless you are enrolled in your employer's disability coverage.
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your total income is below a certain level, you may qualify for federally-subsidized SSI. If you collect SSI, regardless of your age, you are a candidate for Medicaid.

    Medicare and Medicaid

    What Is Medicare?

    Medicare is a federal health insurance program providing health care benefits to all Americans age 65 and over, as well as some disabled individuals under age 65. Eligibility for Medicare is linked to Social Security and railroad retirement benefits.

    Medicare has co-payments and deductibles. A deductible is an initial amount you are responsible for paying before Medicare coverage begins. A co-payment is a percentage of the amount of covered expense you are required to pay.

    What Are Medicare's Coverage Options?

    Medicare has two parts:

    1. Part A (hospital insurance)
    2. Part B (medical insurance)

    Part A Medicare coverage includes:

    • All normal hospital services.
    • Skilled nursing facility care.
    • Home health services, including a visiting nurse or a physical, occupational, or speech therapist.
    • Medical supplies.
    • Hospice services.

    Part B Medicare coverage includes:

    • Eighty percent of reasonable charges from doctors and other health care professionals (after the annual deductible is met).
    • Medically necessary ambulance services.
    • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
    • Home health care services (physician certification is necessary).
    • Medical supplies and equipment.
    • Transfusion of blood and blood components provided on an outpatient basis.
    • Outpatient surgery.

    Part B Medicare benefits require that you pay a monthly premium. You must also be entitled to Part A benefits to receive Part B benefits.

    Medicare part D is supplemental prescription drug coverage that is usually not part of a government program and is purchased separately from Medicare.

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