Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    Anyone who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and was present in Lincoln County, Montana for a total of at least six months during a period ending 10 years or more before the diagnosis.  You do not need to have resided in Lincoln, Montana during this time to receive benefits.  Also, you would not need to be there six months in a row.  In other words, if you lived, worked, or vacationed in Lincoln County for short periods of time over several years, you still might qualify.

  2. What Medicare benefits will I be entitled to because of an asbestos-related disease?

    You will receive free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A). Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care. You will be eligible for Medicare medical insurance (Part B) for a monthly premium. (However, depending on your family’s income, you may be eligible for additional assistance through the Medicare Savings Programs with your state.) Part B helps pay for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies that are not covered by hospital insurance.  Also, you will be eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Part D helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. Some people with limited resources and income are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs—monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments—related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. Filing your application for Extra Help also can start your application for the Medicare Savings Programs.

  3. When do I apply for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) or enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    Call now. If you think you might be able to get Medicare coverage under this provision, even if you are not sure you qualify, call Social Security at 1-888-482-3128 (TTY 1-406-542-5229) to make an appointment or apply over the telephone. 

  4. How do I apply for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) or enroll in medical insurance (Medicare Part B) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    Call Social Security at 1-888-482-3128 (TTY 1-406-542-5229) to make an appointment or apply over the telephone. 

  5. Do I have to be age 65 to apply for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    No, you do not need to be age 65 to qualify for Medicare because of an asbestos-related disease or meet any other insured status provision (regular, disability, or end stage renal disease).

  6. Do I have to have worked and paid into Social Security and Medicare to apply for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    No, you do not need to have worked and paid into Social Security or Medicare to receive free Medicare Part A under this new provision. 

  7. What information or documents do I need to apply for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) because of an asbestos-related disease?

    In order to apply for Medicare benefits because of an asbestos-related disease, you will need the following information: 

    • U.S. driver’s license, state issued non-driver’s identification card or U.S. passport;
    • Your full legal name, address, birth date, and Social Security number;
    • The time period(s) you were in the Lincoln County, Montana area;
    • Information regarding your asbestos-related disease; and
    • You will need to sign medical release forms (SSA 827). This will allow your doctor to confirm you have an asbestos-related disease and meet the medical eligibility criteria.

  8. Where can I find detailed information about what Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B) and prescription drug plans (Part D) cover?

    To find detailed information about what Medicare covers; or to request a copy of the Medicare & You handbook (Publication No. CMS-10050), please visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048). When you call, you also can request information about how to contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In addition, you can find your local SHIP contact information on the back of your Medicare handbook or obtain the information online at www.medicare.gov/contacts/staticpages/ships.aspx.

  9. How can I establish proof of my presence in Lincoln County, Montana?

    You must provide evidence that you were present in Lincoln County, Montana for at least 6 months during a period ending 10 years or more before diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease.  This evidence may include, but is not limited to, a Montana driver’s license or ID, medical records, such as a provider checklist from the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD), a title or deed to real estate, rent receipts, a rental lease, utility bills, or mail you received while in Lincoln County, Montana.  You can also submit religious records as well as birth and school records for your children as proof. Social Security representatives will work with you to help you establish this proof.

  10. How can I establish proof that I have an asbestos-related disease?

    Social Security will have you sign two medical release forms (Form SSA-827).  We will use these forms to obtain the necessary information from your medical provider.

  11. Do I need a medical release form?

    Yes, you will need to sign two medical release forms (Form SSA-827). We will need these to get proof of your asbestos-related disease.