Will money I inherited affect my chance to get Medicare?

Dart asked...

I inherited $50,000 and have since been approved for disability. Will that money affect me getting the Medicare I would have gotten with my disability. I live in Texas.

Expert Answer

Your inheritance will not affect in any way your right to receive Medicare coverage if you remain eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. The connection between SSDI and Medicare eligibility depends entirely on how long you receive SSDI benefits. Once you have received SSDI benefits for 24 consecutive months, you automatically become eligible for full Medicare coverage, regardless of how much your assets are. Similarly, the amount of your assets will not affect SSDI's determination of whether you qualify for disability benefits, which depends only on the effect of your condition on your ability to perform gainful employment (meaning, do work that earns money).

Many people confuse the eligibility requirements for Medicare (age or continued disability) with the requirements for Medicaid coverage (low income and few assets). If you were to apply for Medicaid in addition to Medicare (as a supplement, to pay portions of your medical bills that Medicare doesn't pay), your inheritance would make you ineligible for Medicaid until you had spent most of the money, down to the asset limit (usually just $2,000 or $3,000, not counting your home and car) for Medicaid eligibility in Texas. But for Medicare alone, your inheritance and other assets do not matter.