Q. Why is there a two-year waiting period before one is available for Medicare after being approved for disability benefits? It only seems logical that one who is disabled might be in need of medical assistance! I cannot understand the logic of this provision in the law. Can you explain it to me? I have come to the conclusion that our government expects disabled citizens to die within that waiting period and therefore have no need of benefits. Why doesn’t our government care for the “disabled” Americans?
A. Medicare became law in 1965 to provide coverage to persons 65 years of age or older. In 1973, Congress extended Medicare coverage to Disability Insurance beneficiaries but only after two years of benefit receipt. Numerous bills have been introduced in the intervening years to shorten the waiting period for Medicare coverage to disability beneficiaries. None of these bills has received the support needed to become law.