What happens to my child’s healthcare when I sign up for Medicare?


Q. I will be required to sign up for Medicare beginning in January 2022. I am retired and not currently collecting Social Security. My child, 36, is on my private insurance and Medicaid. She collects SSDI benefits and was born severely disabled. What impact, if any, will me signing up for Medicare have on my handicapped child? Can she be added to my coverage? Will she lose SSDI benefits?
— Concerned

A. We’re glad you asked.

Qualifications for federal benefits can be very complicated, and you don’t want to make any mistakes.

You signing up for Medicare does put a number of things in motion, but your daughter will not lose her SSDI benefits and shouldn’t be negatively impacted by any of the changes, said J. David Principe, a certified financial planner with SAGEbroadview Wealth Management in Morristown..

Recipients of SSDI become eligible for their own Medicare coverage after receiving SSDI benefits for 24 months, regardless of their age, he said.

“Therefore, if your daughter has met this 24-month requirement, she will be able to get Medicare coverage whenever the two of you are no longer covered under your private insurance,” Principe said.

Medicare offers individual coverage, so your daughter will not be added to coverage, he said.

Instead, she will be receiving her own set of benefits, meaning she will be entitled to Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) at the same time as you. Both of you would then be able to get Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) and Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage policies to fill in any holes as you see fit, he said.

Further, Principe said, depending on her income range, she may be “dual-eligible” for both Medicare and Medicaid, which would provide even more coverage for her medical needs.

“If her income and assets are low enough, she would be entitled to full benefit Medicare coverage, but if not, then she may qualify for partial Medicaid benefits with cost-sharing through a Medicare Savings Program (MSP),” he said.

You should contact Medicaid directly to determine if she is dual-eligible.

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This story was originally published on Oct. 15, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.