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Can You Have Health Insurance While On Long-term Disability?

Last updated: October 10, 2023

Health insurance and long-term disability are key components of an individual's health and financial well-being. They protect against high medical costs and income loss due to long-term illness or injury, respectively. But how do they work together, particularly when you're on long-term disability?

The Interplay of Health Insurance and Long-Term Disability

The intersection of health insurance and long-term disability can be complex. In general, long-term disability insurance provides a portion of your income if you cannot work due to a disability. 

Health insurance, on the other hand, helps cover the costs of medical care, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and medications. Now, let's dive deeper into the types of health insurance coverage that are available.

Types of Health Insurance Coverage

There are primarily two types of health insurance coverage: private and government-funded.

Private Health Insurance

Employers often provide private health insurance, but you can purchase it individually. It includes various plans, each with its own costs and coverage details.

Government Health Insurance

Government health insurance programs include Medicaid and Medicare. These programs are designed for certain populations, such as low-income individuals, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Navigating Health Insurance While on Long-Term Disability

Being on long-term disability presents unique challenges when managing health insurance. Here are some strategies to consider.

Maintaining Your Health Insurance

If you're on long-term disability, it's crucial to keep your health insurance active. This ensures you receive the necessary medical treatments without incurring substantial out-of-pocket expenses.

Applying for Government Health Programs

Depending on your situation, you may qualify for government health programs.


Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.


Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65 or older or have certain disabilities.

Considering COBRA Coverage

If you lose your job-based health insurance, you may be able to continue your coverage through COBRA. However, COBRA can be expensive, and it's important to compare costs and coverage with other options.

Planning for Long-Term Disability

Planning can help alleviate some of the financial burdens of long-term disability.

Long-Term Disability Insurance

Long-term disability insurance can replace some of your income during a long-term illness or injury. It can be a lifeline, particularly if you cannot work for an extended period.

Other Financial Considerations

In addition to health and disability insurance, consider other financial tools such as emergency savings, retirement funds, and estate planning.

The Role of Health Advocacy

In the maze of health insurance and long-term disability, health advocacy can play a crucial role. Health advocates are professionals who can assist with understanding health benefits, rights, and options. They can help navigate the complex terrain of health care and insurance, ensuring that you maximize the benefits you're entitled to. 


Furthermore, health advocates can also liaise with health providers and insurance companies on your behalf, alleviating some of the administrative burdens. Leveraging health advocacy services can be a powerful strategy for managing health insurance during long-term disability.


1. What is long-term disability insurance?

Long-term disability insurance is a type of insurance that replaces a portion of your income if you're unable to work due to a disability.

2. Can I keep my health insurance if I'm on long-term disability?

Yes, maintaining your health insurance is crucial when you're on long-term disability.

3. What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for certain low-income individuals. Medicare, on the other hand, is a federal program for people aged 65 or older or with certain disabilities.

4. Is COBRA a good option for me?

COBRA allows you to continue your employer-based health insurance after a job loss, but it can be costly. It's important to compare COBRA with other insurance options to determine what's best for you.

5. How can I plan for long-term disability?

You can plan by considering long-term disability insurance, maintaining an emergency savings fund, and exploring government health programs if eligible.


Explore the intricacies of health insurance while on long-term disability. Dealing with insurance can be challenging. However, with proper planning and understanding, you can confidently navigate this journey. Learn about various insurance types, government programs, and proactive strategies from our blogs at Disability Help.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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