This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

At the age of 57, I was forced by a lifelong health condition to stop working and apply for disability. Luckily, my Social Security disability came through and I was able to get Medicare. Like others, I realized that Medicare doesn't pay all of your medical expenses and that I would need supplemental health insurance.

With my condition, I can't purchase regular insurance, so Medigap was my only hope.

I discovered the most ironic, unfair, unjust, even cruel thing: Unless you are 65 years old, you cannot purchase Medigap insurance! Who needs it more than someone who has been forced to retire early, ending their ability to earn a living? We are punishing people who are already suffering.

Isn't losing my job, my income, my mobility and living with pain 24/7 bad enough?

Along with my steroid injections for pain, my doctor recommended therapeutic massage. Medicare only pays a portion, leaving me to pay about $50 per session. On a disability income, I can't afford that, so a procedure that could bring me some relief is closed to me.

With no Medigap insurance, here I sit.

Beverly Zimmerman-Davis