Medicare Vs. Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

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Mixing up Medicare and Medicaid is pretty simple to do, thanks to their incredibly similar names. Despite how frequently Medicare and Medicaid are switched around inadvertently in conversation, the two government-sponsored programs are not all that similar to one another at all. If you are thinking you need government assistance to afford your healthcare costs, knowing the differences and details between the two could save you major frustrations.

What is Medicare?

Using Social Security as a sort of catalogue, Medicare is a federal program that is available to anyone over 65 years of age; in some situations, it is available to younger people with severe disabilities. There is no income requirement to qualify for Medicare, making it a widely popular coverage option for people from all walks of life.

There are four parts to the overall Medicare program:

  • A: Coverage to help pay for hospitalization
  • B: Medical insurance coverage for miscellaneous medical expenses
  • C: Additional insurance coverage for most services not covered in A or B
  • D: Coverage to help pay for prescription drugs

Both and B are funded by payroll taxes and Social Security income deductions – you have surely seen mention of this somewhere on your paychecks throughout your life – so all Medicare participants will be granted them. C and D, however, are optional and available only to people who choose to opt into them. Some costs related to C and D coverage will come out of the participants own pocket, often capped to 20% of total fee but it all varies depending on each circumstance and necessity.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a program consisting of federal and state rules and regulations. Due to this division of responsibility and funding, a Medicaid program in one state will have slight or significant differences compared to that of another state. Overall, however, Medicaid was created to provide healthcare, medical, and nursing home care coverage, at least in part, to low income families and individuals. Thus, there are strict guidelines regarding how much a participant owns and makes in an average month.

Some of the services covered by the typical Medicaid program include:

  • Hospitalization
  • Lab tests and diagnosis procedures
  • Nursing services
  • Family planning
  • General doctor services
  • Clinical treatments

Medicaid is also dissimilar from Medicare in the way that it can provide long-term care coverage. It is rare to even find a health insurance company that offers this sort of coverage. Due to this unique offering, Medicaid and its 50 unique variations have become the number one source for long-term care funding in the country.

For more information regarding Medicaid, Medicare, and how elder law and estate planning can both be used to create a more comfortable future for yourself, contact Davidov Law Group. Our Nassau County estate planning attorneys have more been serving the people of New York and Long Island for more than 25 years. Schedule your personal consultation today to learn more.

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