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The Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid

Are you confused about the differences between Medicaid and Medicare and how they can affect estate planning?  If so, you are not alone.  The differences between each of these benefit programs can be confusing and complex.  Read on to learn more about each program and how they can affect your long term care plan.

Signed into law in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” vision, both Medicare and Medicaid are meant to provide social justice to all Americans.  Both programs were developed to help individuals who are unable to afford healthcare insurance on their own because they are either too old (and therefore the premiums are too costly) or because they don’t earn enough money.

 

Medicare

Run by the Federal Government, Medicare is a program that provides health insurance coverage to Americans who are age 65 and older, are under age 65 but are eligible to receive SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits) due to a disability, or to those who have end-stage renal disease.

 

Medicaid

Medicaid is run by the individual states and the eligibility rules vary depending on what state you live in.  Generally, Medicaid provides health insurance to those individuals who are not able to afford health insurance on their own due to low-income.

 

The Difference

Essentially Medicare is administered by the Federal Government to ensure that elderly and disabled individuals can access health insurance and Medicaid is a state-run program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families.

 

Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning

Medicaid is often used to assist individuals pay for nursing home care.  However, it is important to understand that if you want Medicaid to pay for your nursing home bill, you must be deemed eligible.  To be eligible for Medicaid, an applicant can only own a modest amount of resources.  However, some resources are exempt, which means they will be excluded when determining eligibility. To determine your eligibility for Medicaid, talk to a trusted estate planning attorney in Pittsburgh.  Alternatively, your attorney can advise you on how to use Long Term Care Insurance to help in the transition to a nursing home facility.

 

We Can Help You Maximize Your Benefits

To discuss your specific needs and to find out how our insurance law firm and Medicaid attorneys can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412-254-8533 or contact us online.