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Understanding the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid

Many people often get confused what the two programs entail because their names are so similar.  Although both programs provide health coverage, the two are very different.  Medicare is a federal program that is offered to everyone 65 and over who is entitled to receive Social Security or people of any age with a permanent disability.  The four part program includes: hospitalization coverage, medical insurance, privately purchased supplemental insurance, and prescription drug coverage.

Medicaid on the other hand, is a joint state-federal public assistance program that helps individuals with limited income and assets pay for medical costs and long-term custodial care.  To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet the program’s income and asset guidelines.  Each state has its own Medicaid program and therefore, these guidelines differ depending where you live.

Just because you are part of one program does not mean you cannot take part in the other.  People named “dual eligibles” are Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income and resources.  In this instance, qualified people receive resources to help pay their out-of-pocket medical expenses by their state Medicaid program.

One difference to remember is that Medicare does not cover long term care and Medicaid does.

Consulting with an elder law attorney can be beneficial in helping to decipher whether you may be eligible for you state’s Medicaid program.  Elder law attorney’s can help to ensure you receive the medical care you deserve now and help to plan for your future.  For more information on Medicaid, Medicare, or planning for the future contact Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C today!

By Marissa Kleiner- Guest Blogger

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