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Cancer at 57: What happens when i can't pay for insurance

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    My sister "L" is 57 years old and has been an educator for 25 years. At 55 she began treatment for stage 1 cancer. L has long term disability coverage and used it. At 57 she was diagnoised stage 4. Her disability income is expected to terminate soon. The insurance option for retired persons under 65 is very expensive. L is afraid she won't be ble to continue her treatments. Can she qualify for social security or medicare before 65? Help.

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    That's a terrible situation. Sorry to hear that. For social security though, she won't be able to get any benefits until the age of 62, per the official site:

    Your full retirement age is 66. Remember, the earliest a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits will remain age 62. age 62, you will get 75% of the monthly benefit because you will be getting benefits for an additional 48 months.

    As for medicaid, maybe so. I would definitely contact them directly, and soon. Here's an exert from Centers for Medicare Advocacy:

    Medicare is available for certain people with disabilities who are under age 65. These individuals must have received Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months or have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). There is a five month waiting period after a beneficiary is determined to be disabled before a beneficiary begins to collect Social Security Disability benefits. People with ESRD and ALS, in contrast to persons with other causes of disability, do not have to collect benefits for 24 months in order to be eligible for Medicare.

    Medicare Coverage for People with Disabilities

    Hope this helps, and good luck.