Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program
About to Get Better!
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has announced regulation changes set to take effect April 1, 2013 that will make the Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program more customer-friendly. EID is a work incentive that qualifies working Marylanders with disabilities for Medicaid (Medical Assistance) benefits. Medicaid provides comprehensive health coverage for people who have no other insurance; it supplements private insurance; and it eliminates out-of-pocket costs for people who also have Medicare, saving them thousands of dollars a year. The program charges monthly premiums on a sliding scale ranging from $0 - $55.
Basic eligibility for EID will not change. To qualify, a person must:
- Have a disability that meets Social Security's medical definition of disability (including someone who receives Social Security Disability benefits, who has lost Social Security Disability benefits due to work, who has lost SSI benefits because of too much income or resources, or who has never qualified for benefits due to earnings).
- Be a U. S. citizen or "qualified alien."
- Be 18 - 64 years old.
- Be working for pay.
- Meet the income limit (as high as $69,972/year for an individual and $94,092/year for a married couple).
- Meet the resource limit ($10,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a married couple). Resources include cash, bank accounts, investments, etc.; they do not include certain retirement accounts, motor vehicles and the person's primary residence.
The regulation changes will improve the EID Program in three ways:
- A person who is enrolled in EID can keep Medicaid for up to 6 months if she or he loses employment or is out of work for medical reasons. The individual needs to continue to pay monthly premiums to remain enrolled (though in some cases, the premium may be lower because his or her income is reduced due to loss of wages). The new rule is a major boon to people who become unemployed, sick or injured after enrolling in EID, giving them up to 6 months to find other work or recover their health without losing essential medical insurance. The old rule (in effect until April 1, when the new rule begins) required enrollees to remain continuously employed to keep Medicaid.
- Monthly premiums will be waived for up to the first 6 months a person is enrolled, from the month of application until the month before the application is approved. As long as the person does not cause undue delays in application processing (such as by failing to send required documents to determine eligibility), she or he does not need to pay premiums until the month the application is approved. His or her Medicaid will still be retroactive to the application month, however. Under the old rule (which ends April 1), a new enrollee needed to pay monthly premiums retroactive to the application month. This often posed a hardship, as it required new enrollees to pay for multiple months of premiums all at once.
- The resource (asset) limit for married couples will increase to $15,000 (from $10,000). The resource limit for an unmarried individual will remain $10,000.
"The EID Program offers powerful support for work for Marylanders with disabilities," commented Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. "The program helps people with disabilities to keep Medicaid and all the essential services it provides."
Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Catherine A. Raggio added, "EID already helps over 700 Marylanders remain in the workforce. I applaud DHMH for these improvements to the program, which will help even more people with disabilities to get and keep employment."
For more information about EID or for help applying, please seehttp://mmcp.dhmh.maryland.gov/eid/SitePages/Home.aspx.