Medicare Expands Disability List: Cancers Added

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Medicare Expands Disability List: Cancers Added

by lifescribe on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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 Waiting two years for Medicare eligibility when you have advanced cancer is neither fair or just. Yes, politics and cancer do go together when it comes to legislation that could make a difference.

There is a new Social Security Adm. list of 50 diseases/medical conditions, Compassionate Allowances, that now qualifies candidates for disability, (designed to expedite the backlog in disability applications), but this initiative does not go far enough. It does not repeal the two-year Medicare eligibility wait requirement for advanced-stage cancer patients and others.

Those not meeting ordinary eligibility rules, must wait two years just to be eligible for Medicare. Only Lou Gehrigs and kidney disease patients do not have to wait two years to be eligible for Medicare, but others with diseases or conditions on the list of Compassionate Allowances qualifying for SSA disability must still wait. Why does to matter to cancer patients? Because if you need a more flexible, out of group medical plan, like Medicare, to go to other cancer centers with multiple treatment options to fight your advanced cancer, you cannot wait two years.

Medicare can do better for those with advanced stage disease. Please write your local elected officials to get behind a bill to repeal Medicare's two year wait period for those with disabilities and cancer. 

 http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassio ... 0Ennis.pdf

I would like to see legislation to repeal the two-year wait for Medicare eligibility faced by advanced-stage cancer patients. Social Security's Compassionate Allowances, listing some 50 diseases/conditions that qualify designed to help expedite the backlog in SSA disability applications, is a start, but does not go far enough for those with advanced diseases/medical conditions. Those qualifying for disability (based on the Compassionate Allowances list), should also be immediately eligible for Medicare without waiting two-years. For years, there has been no Medicare eligibility wait time requirement for those with Lou Gehrigs and kidney disease, but these are the only two diseases exempted from an  delayed eligibility wait. Advanced-stage disease patients should be treated equally and fairly with Medicare’s eligibility requirement, as they often cannot wait two years to have flexible, out of group treatment options medically necessary in their cancer fight. I hope you will research and consider this legislation. Thank you.

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