Medicare is our country’s health insurance program. Although most commonly used by people age 65 or older, some people with disabilities, like Huntington’s disease, are eligible at a younger age. Medicare helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.

Our University of Washington HDSA Center of Excellence care team is here to help you decide when to apply for disability and to walk you through the process.  Please reach out to our team before you submit an application to learn about some of the tips and tricks we’ve picked up from our decades of experience.


Part A – Hospital insurance

Medicare, Part A covers hospitalizations and hospice. It will also cover short term in home skilled nursing care or short term skilled nursing rehabilitation if the patient meets the qualifying eligibility for these benefits. Most people will get Medicare Part A automatically when they turn 65. Medicare does NOT cover long term care.

Part B—Medical insurance

Medicare, Part B helps with costs associated with doctor visits, labs, x-rays, physical therapy, ambulance services and other medical care received in an outpatient environment when medically necessary. Part B in most cases has a monthly premium. Enrolling in Medicare Part B is optional.

Part C—Medicare Advantage

There are also Medicare Advantage Plans administered through (HMO or PPO) private insurance companies that can offer additional coverage.

Part D—Prescription drug coverage

Medicare, Part D assists with the costs of prescription medication.


  • If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years at a job(s) that paid into the Medicare system
  • You must be 65 or older
  • Citizen or permanent resident of United States
  • Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for at least 2 years

Additional Information

Toll-free number: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
Apply online
Find your local Social Security Office 
Medicare FAQs