Medicaid Benefits For Legally Blind


When To Enroll In Medicare

Free help to Enroll in Medicaid for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Because enrollment isnt automatic for Medicare Part C and Part D, be prepared for annual enrollment periods. You must be enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and B to enroll in Medicare Advantage. Part D prescription drug coverage is a stand-alone plan added to your Original Medicare but is often included in Medicare Advantage Plans. If youre newly eligible for Medicare as a person with blindness, you can enroll during these times:

  • Initial enrollment period: You can Part C or Part D plans anytime between the seven-month period that begins three months before your 25th month of receiving SSDI or RRB disability benefits through the three months after your 25th month of receiving these benefits.
  • Open enrollment period: You can make changes to your Part C or Part D coverage from October 15 through December 7. This includes changing from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa, switching Medicare Advantage Plans or switching from one that doesnt include drug coverage to one that does, or joining, switching, or dropping a Part D plan.

You can also switch Medicare Advantage Plans or go back to Original Medicare from January 1 to March 31 if you already have Medicare Advantage.

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For HUSKY C, SNAP or cash aid: or for your DSS MyAccount. * 24/7 access to DSS: Apply & renew services at, plus get benefit status, notices, report changes, upload/send documents & more! Client Information Line: 1-855-626-6632. With MyDSS, our mobile-friendly app, access your account on any. . Blind SSI applicants are allowed to work and earn up to $1,740 per month. In addition to the SSI benefit, some states supplement the benefits. The supplement amount ranges from $10 to $400, depending on the state. Once you exceed $1,740 per month, the earnings are considered substantial gain and will reduce the SSI benefit amount. The American Foundation for the Blind is a member of the ITEM Coalition. The mission of the ITEM Coalition is to raise awareness and build support for policies that will improve access to assistive devices, technologies and services for people of all ages with disabilities and chronic.

Public Spaces and Businesses – According to the ADA, service animals may go with people with disabilities in places where the public can go. This law applies to state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofits that serve the public. Under certain state and local government laws, you may bring emotional support animals into public places. SSP-Related Medicaid Coverage of Aged, Blind, and Disabled Persons, 2001 … qualify for regular Medicaid benefits, … Most immigrants enteri ng.

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Aged Blind And Disabled Medicaid

Ohio Medicaid offers programs for older individuals and persons with disabilities to help with medical bills. To qualify for Aged, Blind or Disabled Medicaid, one must be:

  • Age 65 or older, or
  • Considered legally blind, or
  • Classified by the Social Security Administration as a person with a disability, and
  • Meet the basic requirements

Proof of income, resources, age or disability, citizenship and other health insurance is required. A face-to-face interview is not required in Montgomery County, and applicants can ask an authorized representative to apply on their behalf.

AVAILABLE RESOURCESThe Medicaid resource limit is now $2,000 a month for individuals and $3,000 for married couples. The home you reside in, one car and your household possessions are exempt resources. Your case worker will determine which items are counted or exempted.

For more details, click on this link.

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Does Medicare Offer Any Vision Coverage At All

Original Medicare doesnt typically cover routine vision care like exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses.

There are certain exceptions, however. Medicare will pay for corrective lenses following a cataract surgery to implant an intraocular lens. Eye exams for diabetic retinopathy can be covered once a year for beneficiaries with diabetes. Medicare will also cover glaucoma tests annually for those considered to be at a high risk for the disease and may cover certain tests and treatment for those with age-related macular degeneration.

Select low-vision rehabilitation services may be covered as part of physical or occupational therapy. And treatment of eye injuries is typically covered when deemed medically necessary.

Routine vision care can be found in many Medicare Advantage plans, however. These plans, sold by private insurance companies, often include coverage for routine eye exams and corrective lenses.

Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug benefits may also provide coverage for medications used to treat eye diseases or injuries.

Automatic Medicare Part A And Part B Enrollment

How To Qualify And Apply For Medicaid

Medicare for people with blindness often means automatic Medicare Part A and B enrollment. If youve received SSDI benefits or RRB disability benefits for 24 months, youre automatically enrolled and your Medicare card is mailed to you before the 25th month of your disability.

If youre still working while receiving disability and you have insurance coverage through your employer or you have coverage through your spouses insurance, you may decide you dont want to enroll in Part B yet. Since most people dont pay a monthly premium for Part A but always pay a premium for Part B, delaying Part B may be a beneficial option for you.

Not enrolling in Part B when youre first eligible could cost you in the form of a late enrollment penalty, and you could have a coverage gap if you decide you want Part B later. Your monthly premium for Part B can go up by 10% for every 12 months you were eligible for it, but didnt enroll. The longer you go without it, the higher the penalty, and youll usually have to pay this penalty every time you pay your premium for as long as you have Part B.

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State Services For The Visually Impaired

Each state administers programs for the blind and visually impaired. These departments match you with the resources you need. Names can vary by state.

For example, in Michigan, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth administers the Michigan Commission for the Blind, while in Florida, the Division of Blind Services is overseen by the states Department of Education.

These statewide departments contract with local agencies to offer services and training in your community.

Enhanced Vision, a company that provides information and products for the visually impaired, offers a comprehensive state-by-state list of low vision agencies.

These agencies are state or federally funded, so many services are free for those who qualify.

However, funding for visual aids and equipment may be more limited for older blind adults compared to young working adults who enroll in vocational rehabilitation programs.

Additional Benefits for Legally Blind Seniors

Efforts To Expand Medicare Coverage Of Low Vision Devices

There have been many efforts to expand Medicare for people with blindness, particularly for the coverage of low vision devices. Organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind continually lobby against rules that exclude low vision aids from being considered durable medical equipment and make them eligible for Medicare Part B reimbursement.

The most recent bill, HR 4311 Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2021 seeks to provide coverage of dental, vision, and hearing care to Medicare receipiants. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 2, 2021, though it has not yet been passed.

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Do You Have The Right Medicare Coverage

Are you looking for an insurance plan that provides benefits specific to you? Our licensed agents can explain your coverage options and help you find a plan that best fits your needs and budget.

If you are interested in arranging a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an agent, complete this form or give us a call today at 844-431-1832.

This post was originally published on August 23, 2018, by Kelsey Davis. The latest update was on January 2, 2020, by Troy Frink.

Elderly Blind Or Disabled Medicaid And Ssi Medicaid Member Information

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If you are eligible for Wisconsin Medicaid for the Elderly, Blind, or Disabled or SSI Medicaid, you will be enrolled for 12 months unless there are changes that impact your eligibility. While enrolled, you may need to know about the following:

Using Your ForwardHealth Card

Shortly after you become enrolled in a Medicaid plan, you will get a plastic ForwardHealth card in the mail, unless you used to be enrolled in Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, or the Family Planning Only Services Program.

If you used to be enrolled in Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, or the Family Planning Only Services Program, you will not automatically get a new ForwardHealth card. You can use the same card you used before if you still have it. If you did not keep your ForwardHealth card, you can ask for a new card through your ACCESS account or by calling Member Services at 800-362-3002.Your ForwardHealth card will include your name, a 10-digit identification number, a magnetic stripe, a place for your signature, and the Member Services telephone number. Once you get your ForwardHealth card, you should sign it in the space provided.

You will need to show your ForwardHealth card when you have an appointment or pick up a prescription at a pharmacy.

Picking an HMO

Here is information to help you pick your HMO:


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Accessible Medicare Information Formats For Visual Impairments

Nearly 8% of Medicare beneficiaries have blindness or low vision and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wants to ensure that all its electronic and written information is accessible to everyone. Changes CMS has made to facilitate accessibility include auxiliary aids and services to make Medicare for people with blindness more user-friendly, such as providing large-print or Braille materials, audio recordings, and eBook formats that let you use the zoom feature to enlarge the text.

You can request a format thats more accessible for individuals with blindness or low vision by:

  • Faxing 1-844-530-3676
  • Writing to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Offices of Hearings and Inquiries, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop S1-13-25, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, Attn: Customer Accessibility Resource Staff

Always include your name, phone number, mailing address, and the type of information you need if known. This request only pertains to Medicare Part A and B information. If youre enrolled in a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D Medicare drug plan, you must contact your plan provider to request accessible formats of their information. Contact your local or state Medicaid office to request accessible materials if you also receive Medicaid.

Your Health Insurance Options

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Get Important News & Updates

Sign up for email and/or text notices of Medicaid and other FSSA news, reminders, and other important information. When registering your email, check the category on the drop-down list to receive notices of Medicaid updates check other areas of interest on the drop-down list to receive notices for other types of FSSA updates.

What Is Medical Assistance


Medical Assistance is a program that provides free or low-cost health insurance. Medical Assistance pays the medical bills of people who have low income and cannot afford medical care. If you qualify, Medical Assistance pays for medical care such as doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and more.

Generally, to be eligible for Medicaid in Maryland, you must:

  • be a Maryland resident
  • be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who meets certain immigration status requirements
  • meet income limits and
  • meet asset limits.

To receive Medical Assistance in the Aged, Blind and Disabled category, , you must be either:

  • Age 65 or older

To qualify for benefits as disabled, you must meet all of the following:

  • You have a significant physical or mental medical impairment
  • Your condition has lasted for at least twelve months or it is expected to result in death and
  • You are unable to perform “substantial gainful activity”- that is, you cannot work.

Medical Assistance uses the same disability requirements as the Social Security Administration.

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Medicare Eligibility For People With Disabilities

Most people wont qualify for Medicare until they turn 65, but you can qualify sooner if you have impaired vision or blindness because its considered a disability. You may be eligible if:

Eligibility type How to qualify for Medicare When you qualify for Medicare
Social Security Disability Benefits Everyone eligible for SSDI benefits is also eligible for Medicare After a 24-month qualifying period
U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Receiving disability benefits for a total disability After receiving disability annuities for 24 months

Qualifying For Medicaid & Medicare Benefits For The Blind

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides medical benefits to people who meet certain income eligibility requirements. Medicare is public health insurance available to most people 65 and older, and most people who have ALS, ESRD, or who have received SSDI for at least 25 months.

People who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid may be eligible for a type of Medicare Advantage plan called a Dual Special Needs Plan . Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance policies that can offer many benefits that Original Medicare cannot such as meal delivery, non-emergency medical transportation, and coverage for hearing aids.

If you have a DSNP, you also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to make changes when other people cannot. Most people have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period , which is from October 15 December 7.

Your DSNP SEP allows you to make one change per quarter from January to September. You can still make changes to your coverage from October to December, however, but you can only make a change during AEP. The changes you make during this period will take effect on January 1 the following year.

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Ssi Eligibility And Eligibility For Certain Former Ssi Recipients

You may qualify for SSI /Medicaid, or you may be able to remain eligible for Medicaid after your SSI payments stop if you meet certain eligibility guidelines.

SSI EligibilityIf you qualify for Supplemental Security Income , you automatically receive Medicaid. SSI makes monthly payments to individuals with low income and few resources that are either age 65 or over or blind or disabled. Blindness and disability are determined using Social Security rules. An application for SSI is filed with the Social Security Administration.

If you have unpaid medical bills in any of the 3 months prior to the month you apply for SSI, you can apply for Medicaid to cover these month by filing an application with the Division of Medicaid.

For more information, see the Medicaid Eligibility Guide for SSI Recipients and Certain Former SSI Recipients brochure.

Medicaid Eligibility for Certain Former SSI RecipientsCertain former SSI recipients may continue to receive Medicaid. You must be eligible in one of the groups briefly described below:

Can You Qualify For Medicare If You Are Legally Blind

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If you collect disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 consecutive months, you can begin receiving Medicare coverage beginning with your 25th month.

The Social Security Administration determines eligibility for disability benefits and defines legally blind as:

Vision that cant be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye, or if your visual field is 20/200 in your better eye, or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye for a period that lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.

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Medicare And Disability For Blindness

Blind beneficiaries may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration paid through Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income . These monthly payments can be used to help ensure you have what you need.

The SSA is the organization that administers Medicare benefits for most enrollees. Eligible retired railroad employees get Medicare benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board.

Living With A Disability / Visually Impaired

If you are living with a disability and/or blindness, you may have special options for health insurance and services. Many people who are living with a disability or blindness can get Medicare. If you have low-income, you may also qualify for Medicaid. If you are working, you may be able to get extra financial help to pay for health care. If you don’t have Medicare, you can search for private health insurance options on the NY State of Health Marketplace. Financial help is available.

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