If your disability date is 8/1/2004 you will qualify. You do not have to take medicare but if you have private insurance it might be better coverage for less. Cost is about $96 per month for basic medicare. The drug plan I opted for is about $31 per month and my supplemental program is $116.
Unless you are 65 you would not be able to get a supplemental/medigap program in most cases even though you qualify for basic medicare which pays 80% of your expenses. A medigap program picks up the rest and a prescription program picks up the meds.
In total I pay about $240 a month for coverage better than what I had. Meds are cheaper and no deductables. I had individual insurance and it was very good but had some high deductables. Now, my costs are about $400 a month less, meds are cheaper and I have no deductables. Overall, I will have better coverage at a much lower cost.
Depending on your state there might be medigap plans for those under 65 but they are probably very expensive. A friend of mine had one and it cost about $525 per month. He just turned 65 and the same type of plan only costs about $130 per month. Our healthcare system is so messed up!!!!!
Every state is different on prescription and medigap plans. You can get help on these programs at www.medicare.gov There are calculators to help you find the best programs for you. Otherwise, it is like doing a thesis on advanced math.
Life is good for me now. And a little better this year now that I am saving a few dollars on healthcare.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." Helen Keller