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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Medical Expenses Before Becoming Medicare-Eligible

(Posted November 23, 2003)

Question 337: I'm helping a person who is eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits due to a disability. How far back does Medicare cover a disabled worker? It took a while for the worker to get benefits, and Medicare is effective after 24 months of benefits. Can Medicare go back before the effective date to get medical bills related to the disability paid?

Answer: Medicare will cover only services rendered on or after the effective date. There is no provision for payment for services before the beginning of the 25th month of disability benefits.

If the disabled worker has private or group health insurance, those benefits might cover some or all of the costs.

There is also the federal-state Medicaid program, and other state and local programs, which might be of assistance to people with limited income and resources.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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