Q: Is there a way that Medicare should be picking up medical bills from the time an application is sent for review to the time I can be approved for Medicare?
A: Once you Social Security approves your application for disability benefits, you do become eligible for Medicare.
But you, like most people, will have to wait 24 months from the date your monetary benefits start before Medicare will start paying your medical bills. There are no retroactive benefits with Medicare. The benefits only start after 24 months of disability payments.
Some exceptions to the 24-month wait period rule are:
- You were on disability benefits no more than five years ago, and went off benefits, but have been approved again. In this case, your Medicare wait period is waived.
- Individuals with End Stage Renal Disease.
- People with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Over the years, Congress has debated removing this 24-month wait period, but unfortunately, it has never passed into law.