Public Health Insurance and Work

Public health insurance is provided by and funded by the government. Everyone who receives disability benefits is entitled to public health insurance.

SSI recipients are automatically enrolled into MassHealth Standard.  SSDI recipients are entitled to Medicare after receiving SSDI payments for two years. Some SSDI recipients apply for MassHealth while they wait for Medicare to start.

If you are not working for fear of losing your health insurance, know that Social Security created work incentives that help you preserve your health insurance while you try out work!

(If you don’t know if you have SSI or SSDI, click here).

  • If people on SSI work and lose their SSI cash payments due to earnings, their MassHealth coverage can continue indefinitely because of a SSI work incentive known as 1619(b). If and when your SSI cash payments stop because of work income, visit or call your local Social Security office immediately to confirm that they have you listed under 1619(b) in their computer system! (Sometimes this does not happen automatically so it’s in your best interest to call and make sure it does.)
  • People on SSDI including Childhood Disability Benefits can usually keep their Medicare for an extended period of time while working (often over 7 years). Social Security will determine the exact date of when your eligibility for Medicare will end. To get an idea of where you stand in terms of Medicare when you’re working, contact Social Security or Medicare directly.