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Social Security 2009 COLA Helps, But People with Disabilities Will Still Struggle, Says Allsup
Date:10/16/2008

tial savings.

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A third significant source of expense for individuals with disabilities is healthcare costs. According to a study released last month by the Center for Studying Health System Change, nearly one in five Americans had problems paying medical bills in 2007. The share of people with low income facing medical bill problems was significantly higher at 32 percent.

Because many individuals with severe long-term disabilities are unable to work, they are more likely to be low income, Gada noted. However, people with long-term disabilities cannot afford to be without some plan to cover health-related costs on an ongoing basis.

COBRA coverage through their former employer is one option for initial coverage. Medicare is available to most individuals with disabilities only 24 months after qualifying for SSDI benefits.

People with disabilities who are eligible should examine all their Medicare options, including traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) with supplemental insurance (Medigap) and prescription drug (Part D) coverage, as well as Medicare Advantage plans. This should include looking at the costs and available healthcare coverage under the various scenarios, Gada said. For example, due to pre-existing conditions, people with disabilities often are not able to get supplemental coverage. This means that if they are enrolled in traditional Medicare only, they are likely to have high ou
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