How To Make Sure You Can Afford Health Insurance If You're Disabled

If you are disabled, affording health insurance may be a challenge. This is especially true if you need health insurance of any kind of quality, with the types of coverage you need. While you automatically qualify for Medicare after being on Social Security disability for two years, Medicare alone may not be enough to take care of your medical bills without leaving you with huge co-pays you can't afford. The good news is that you have options for affording quality health insurance coverage, even if you're disabled. Here's how to get it.

1. Make Sure You Sign Up for Medicare Part B

When you get your automatic Medicare, it is only Medicare Part A. This just covers hospital stays, and the treatments you receive during those stays. If you want your regular doctor's visits covered (including specialists), as well as radiology diagnostics and lab tests, you will need Part B.

Medicare Part B has a monthly co-pay that can be over $100 a month, depending on how much you get in your monthly disability check. You can cut down on this cost, and even eliminate it entirely, by applying to your state's Medicaid program.

If your income is low enough, Medicaid will pay your Part B premiums for you. This allows you to keep your full disability check. You may also qualify for some Medicaid benefits to cover all or part of the 20 percent of all medical bills that Part B doesn't pay.

2. Get a Medicare Supplement Plan

A Medicare supplement plan is a small health insurance plan sold by private insurance companies. It is meant to cover the co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles of your Medicare Part B policy. Remember, Medicare only pays 80 percent of your medical bills, and there is a yearly deductible.

Your Medicare supplement plan ensures these are paid and that you aren't left on the hook for medical bills you can't afford. Most Medicare supplement plans are quite low in cost, so they fit into your budget. Shop around with different companies to make sure you get the best price for your income.

3. Get Discounts on Dental and Vision Care

One of the drawbacks of Medicare is that it doesn't cover dental or vision care unless they are provided in a hospital as a medical necessity. You can drastically cut down on your dental and vision expenses by purchasing a discount plan.

There are dozens of dental and vision discount plans on the market. Shop around to find the one with the best terms of service, best discounts, and best annual price. Most are inexpensive, and can save you around 50 percent for these services (sometimes more, if you get a really good plan). This makes a big difference when you're on a budget.


Just because you're on disability doesn't mean you have to go without good health insurance coverage. Just be aware of your options, and apply to everything you qualify to get. You will soon have enough coverage to pay for the medical services you need without medical bills piling up that you can't afford. Start looking for the appropriate supplemental coverages at websites like