If you find that you are unable to work due to disabling conditions and are unable to pay for doctors’ visits or medications due to lack of health insurance, there are still some things you can do to get extremely low cost health insurance.
If your income and assets are low enough, you may qualify for Medicaid, which is a government health insurance program. In Pennsylvania, Medicaid is known as Medical Assistance (MA). To be eligible for MA, you will need to show that you are disabled. To show that you have a disability, you will need to have a doctor verify your medical conditions and their expected duration. Your doctor can do this by either writing a personal statement or filling out an Employability Assessment Form. On this form, your doctor should list your disabling conditions and indicate that you are Temporarily Disabled – 12 Months or More, or Permanently Disabled.Once you have these forms filled out by your doctor, you should contact your local County Assistance Office to enroll. Click here for the list of Pennsylvania’s County Assistance Offices.
Pennsylvania also offers Medical Assistance Benefits for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD). MAWD allows low-income disabled individuals to obtain very inexpensive health insurance. To be eligible for MAWD, you must be working in some capacity and have a disability. To show that you are working for purposes of MAWD, you would need to document that you have been paid by check and that you deposited these checks into your checking account. There is no minimum amount of time you have to work, and the compensation can be paid by anyone (including friends, neighbors and family members), as long as you are paid at least minimum wage by check. To show that you are disabled, you should follow the same steps outlined in the above paragraph about Medical Assistance.
The health insurance offered by both the MA and MAWD programs can also be used by people who have just started receiving Social Security Disability benefits, as these people will not be eligible for Medicare until two years after they are found disabled.
If you or someone you know is disabled and without health insurance, we can help. At Banks Law, our experienced attorneys can assist you in determining what health insurance options are available for you.