Meet Mike

At the age of 45, Mike learns that he has the early signs of multiple sclerosis (MS). He decides to contact an MS support group to get advice on how having a disability might impact his life. There he gets ideas about how he can adjust his work and learns about health coverage options. He decides to leave his job as a writer at a newspaper and become a freelance writer, so that he can control his schedule better as he adapts to his disability. When he leaves his job, he signs up for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), because he no longer has employer-sponsored health coverage.

By the time he’s been working on his own for a few years, his work income has gone up, he’s started to put some money away for retirement, and he’s happy to know that he’s accumulating Social Security work credits so that if his disability gets worse and he needs Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), he’ll get it.

Meet Mike
Before disability:
Name: Mike
Age: 42
Disability: None he knows of
Occupation: Journalist at a newspaper
Income: $3,500 per month ($42,000 annually)
Resources: $4,000 in a savings account
Health coverage: Employer sponsored
Adjusting to future disability:
Age: 45
Disability: Brain lesions indicating multiple sclerosis (MS)
Occupation: Freelance writer
Income: $1,250 per month ($15,000 annually)
Resources: $2,000 in a savings account
Health coverage: AHCCCS
Thinking about the long term:
Age: 48
Disability: Brain lesions indicating multiple sclerosis (MS)
Occupation: Freelance writer
Income: $3,000 per month ($36,000 per year)
Resources: $4,000 in an IRA; $4,000 in savings
Health coverage: Individual coverage purchased on Healthcare.gov