By Stephen H. Olden, Lawyer Referral Panelist
Generally yes, if you choose to, but you’re not required to accept Medicare if you have other medical coverage. There is a 29-month waiting period from your disability date before Medicare becomes available. This is due to a five-month (full months) waiting period from the date you became disabled before the cash benefits are payable, plus an additional 24-month wait to receive Medicare coverage.
For example, if you become disabled on February 10, 2013, and perhaps are approved for SSD in August 2014, you would be able to receive Medicare in July 2015, 29 full months after the date of original disability.
If your spouse has insurance that covers you or you are receiving veterans benefits, etc., you may wish to decline Medicare. If you do decide to enroll for it, the cost will be taken out of your monthly SSD benefit amount. Currently the cost is about $100 per month.