Health Insurance and Accessing the Health Care System
Approximately 15% of Americans lack health insurance, and many have insurance policies with limited benefits, inadequate to meet their needs. This chapter examines the health insurance coverage of persons with disabilities, focusing primarily on working-age adults (the vast majority of elderly adults have Medicare). Since most working-age Americans obtain health insurance coverage through their employment, the chapter explores the consequences of leaving the workforce—or being unemployed—especially when individuals apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and must then await Medicare coverage. It also reviews basic concerns relating to benefits design, particularly policies (such as medical necessity requirements) that might have special implications for persons with disabilities.
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