What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Medicaid Planning

The “Baby Boomer” generation is getting older and starting to investigate their healthcare options. If you’re among that group, you may be wondering exactly how Medicaid plays into your future plans — and how its relationship with Medicare works.

Since 1964, the Title XIX of the Social Security Act has provided medical assistance through Medicaid. Both Medicaid and Medicare were created to serve different functions and come with different requirements.  It is important to self-educate about how both systems function. 

The main points you need to know

To simplify things, it can be said that Medicare is an insurance program, while Medicaid is an assistance program. Medicare is a federal program that people become eligible for by having paid into the system throughout their working years. Most Medicare recipients are over the age of 65. 

Medicaid is open to people who haven’t paid into the system with wage deductions but need assistance with medical bills due to an illness or handicap. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is a collaborative effort between the federal and state systems. 

In many cases, the programs work together, such as when someone enters a long-term care facility.

Can I qualify for Medicaid even if I make too much money?

The answer is a tentative, yes. 

The Medicaid Excess Income Program is also referred to as a “Spenddown Program.” This program allows some citizens whose income is over the limits to qualify for help with medical bills. Eligible candidates otherwise qualify for Medicaid, except for the income requirements. 

Advanced Medicaid planning can help people prepare for the possibility that they may need Medicaid while still protecting their assets for their heirs. A Medicaid trust, for example, is specifically designed to help people qualify for long-term care through Medicaid without having to totally divest themselves of their hard-earned assets.

The more you know about your options, the easier it will be to plan for your future.

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