Guest Author - Jeanetta Polenske
Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) was initiated in the state of Maryland in April 2009. The program is the state equivalent of Medicaid administered by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Its purpose is to provide affordable medical assistance to working disabled residents of Maryland who meet the following criteria:
1) You must be between the ages of 18 and 65.
2) U.S citizen
3) Be working and earning income that does not exceed the limit. You may be employed or self-employed and your income must be subject to taxes.
4) You must not have resources (cash, savings, investments, and property) that exceed $10,000.
5) Your disability must qualify according to Social Security criteria
The monthly cost of premiums is calculated on a sliding scale based on income and ranges from $0-$55 monthly. If it is determined that an applicant cannot afford the premium, the DHMH can waive the premium on an individual basis. The only other costs are minimal co-pays for prescriptions at pharmacies that accept the coverage. There is no application fee and EID is now available to those who are not yet receiving SSI or SSDI. The waiting period for acceptance is 30 days unless you need a disability qualification, in which case the wait extends to 90 days.
The program provides coverage for the uninsured, covers many costs that private insurance will not pay for the disabled and actually saves money for those insured under Medicare. For those who are eligible, benefits include physician visits, prescription drugs, inpatient care, outpatient care, and care services at home and at work.
The EID is good news for the disabled. Those who are employed part-time and/or making less than the set limits are now able to afford insurance with more comprehensive coverage. The program was set up to encourage those with disabilities to seek work and be able to receive a higher income without losing Medicare benefits. There is no minimum qualifying income.
The monthly income limit is set to $2,793 for unmarried persons and $3,783 for married persons. In the final determination, less than half of earning are counted, so that the qualifying income can actually be much higher. The limits are calculated at approximately 300% of the determined federal poverty level. They are the highest income limits of any Medicaid program in the state.
The Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) can provide applications, information, and publications including for those with vision and hearing impairments. Contact DORS at (1-888-554-0334) or stop by one of their offices to receive all current facts about the program and for help making a decision about whether to participate.