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What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?
Medicare eligibility for ALS and ESRD patients
Eligibility for Medicare includes persons over age 65, those with disabilities, and those with two specific diseases: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
How soon after I enroll will my Medicare benefits begin?
Medicare beneficiaries need to know when their plan will be effective so they can avoid coverage gaps that could leave them without access to care they need.
Patients who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are eligible for Medicare at any age. The disease attacks a person’s motor nerve cells in the spinal cord.
Patients with ALS become eligible for Medicare as soon as they begin collecting Social Security disability benefits. There used to be a five-month waiting period before applicants with ALS could begin receiving Social Security disability payments, but legislation enacted in 2020 eliminated that waiting period. Medicare takes effect at the same time as the disability payments, so there’s no longer a waiting period for Medicare coverage either.
This is in contrast to Medicare for other types of disabilities, when there is typically a two-year delay between the start of disability benefits and the start of Medicare eligibility.