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If you’ve been catastrophically injured, you may have begun receiving government benefits to help pay for your health care. Or, you’ve heard that you may be eligible for benefits, but the legal claim you’ve filed could disqualify you if you receive a settlement. The situation can be confusing for anyone who hasn’t been through it before, so it’s important to know exactly what’s available to you as you navigate life with your injury. That’s what our team of settlement planning consultants are here for. Today, we’re talking about Medicare and whether this program might help you.

Medicare Basics

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is available to people age 65 or older, some younger individuals with disabilities, and people with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant.

Some people may begin to receive Medicare coverage automatically, and others need to apply for benefits. If you are considered “medically disabled,” you will automatically have some coverage after you receive disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months. If you are eligible because you have reached age 65, you can enroll for the first time starting three months before your 65th birthday and up to three months after. 

Different parts of Medicare help cover specific services. Here’s a breakdown:

Hospital Insurance (Part A): Hospital insurance helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, some skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and certain kinds of home health care. 

Medical Insurance (Part B): Medical insurance helps cover doctors’ services, outpatient care, and a few other services that Part A doesn’t cover (when they are medically necessary).

Medicare Advantage (Part C): Medicare Advantage includes Part A and Part B. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide the coverage, so beneficiaries may need to see health care providers within the plan’s network.

Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D): Prescription drug coverage is available to people who join a plan approved by Medicare that offers drug coverage. 

If you’re approaching settlement in a personal injury case and you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you may need to take action to maintain eligibility for your government benefits. There are a few settlement planning tools that can help you. A Medicare set-aside, for example, would use a portion of your settlement to pay for future injury-related medical expenses that would otherwise be payable by Medicare. Our comprehensive settlement planners can walk you through your options and answer any questions you may have about Medicare set-asides. We can ensure your Medicare benefits remain there for you now and in the future. Give us a call for a no-obligation chat.