Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program available to people 65 or older or who have certain disabilities, regardless of income or assets.
Medicaid is a health care program funded jointly by the federal and state governments, and is available to people who have insufficient resources or income to pay for their own care. To qualify for Medicaid, a recipient must meet certain resource and income eligibility standards.
Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid
- Medicare pays for health care and medical expenses, such as doctor visits and hospital stays. It does not cover the cost of Long-Term Care.
- Medicaid pays for the cost of Long-Term Care, including the cost of living in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home), an assisted living facility, an adult family home, or Long-Term Care in a person’s home.
- Medicare does not have any income or asset eligibility tests and is available to anyone 65 or older or with certain disabilities.
- Medicaid has income and asset eligibility tests. To qualify a recipient must be within the levels of the program.
- Medicaid pays for the cost of prescription drugs through Medicare’s Part D program. The premiums and co-payments are paid by Medicaid.
- Each state has its own Medicaid program. If you are planning to retire to or move a loved one to another state, it is important to consult an Elder Law Attorney to understand the impacts of this decision.
Assets A Medicaid Recipient May Retain
Not all assets are counted toward the Medicaid resource limits. In Washington State, assets that are not counted in the determination of Medicaid eligibility include the recipient’s home, a vehicle, household furnishings and personal effects, and an irrevocable prepaid burial plan. With the proper Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategyTM, you can protect other countable resources while still obtaining Medicaid benefits.
Medicare and Medicaid rules are complex. At Elder Law Group PLLC we can help you navigate the complexities of these programs. Together we will create an Estate Plan that addresses your needs in detail.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office) to learn more about qualifying for Medicaid benefits, asset protection strategies, Estate Planning, or other legal needs of seniors.