Do You Know The Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?


Do you know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?  A lot of people get the two programs mixed up and there is a difference.  If you are Medicare help, Medicaid helpon Medicare you may also be eligible for Medicaid.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program that covers:

  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • Some people with disabilities under age 65.
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

On the other hand, Medicaid is a State run program. This program is generally available to low-income individuals and families who meet the eligibility requirements.  Every State has their own rules for eligibility and services.

Why Should You Apply For Medicaid

If your income is low and you meet the requirements you should apply for this extra assistance.  Again, the requirements vary in each state and if you or a loved one is in a nursing home, there are special rules.  Start with your state to see if you meet the eligibility requirements.  Some of the key requirements that must be met are:

  • Age
  • Medical condition
  • Income
  • U.S. Citizen or legal immigrant

Qualified Income Trust

There is another option if you are over the income levels to qualify for Medicaid long-term care and nursing home care and it is called a Qualified Income Trust (QIT).  It is quite involved and requires the help of an attorney.  It is a written agreement that allows you to setup a special account and make deposits to the account.

Find Out If You Qualify for Medicaid

It's doesn't hurt to apply to find out if you qualify for Medicaid, even if you are not sure, because it can help to offset some of the high costs of medical treatment.  Medically needy people can become eligible even if they are outside the income because of excessively high medical expenses.

Don't be surprised if you are denied Medicaid assistance because the eligibility requirements must be met.  The income is only one test for eligibility.  If you become enrolled in Medicaid along with Medicare, you might be eligible for the cash program too.

All Medicaid will cost you is your time to apply and because of your high medical costs, you may be eligible for this extra help.  And don't forget to check into the QIT.

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--Mary Jane Stern