Seeking Medicare Benefits

As a part of the Affordable Care Act, the open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts October 1, 2013. Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace and enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace will not affect Medicare choices. However, there are expanded benefits for preventive care and drug coverage.

Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 may qualify for Medicare if they are disabled and eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Medicare eligibility begins 2 years after beginning SSDI benefits unless an exception applies such as in the case of end stage kidney failure or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

People who are interested in applying for Medicare and/or SSDI before the age of 65 must contact the U.S. Social Security Administration. After applying for SSDI and Medicare benefits a decision is typically rendered between 4- 6 months. If the outcome is unfavorable, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may be requested. Since there are multiple levels in the appeal process, it may take a year or more before a hearing is scheduled. Our clients can expect to meet with their attorney multiple times prior to the hearing.

A hearing before an ALJ will give the client an opportunity to present the appeal. The ALJ will render a new decision based on the facts in accordance with the law. The final amount awarded for SSDI depends on how much the client paid into Social Security when he/she was working. An estimate may be obtained by visiting and obtaining a statement of earning amount.

The Sawaya Law Firm is Denver’s personal injury law firm. With over 40 years of experience and a compassionate team prepared to listen to your story, The Sawaya Law Firm is here to help. Contact us anytime.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.