Elder Law | Medicaid v. Medicare in Tampa, FL


Elder Law | There is often confusion between the programs known as Medicare and Medicaid. Often they are used interchangeably. Both refer to health insurance programs administered through the government, but how they work and what they cover are very different. Knowing what is covered by each and who is eligible can save money and provide valuable health care coverage to seniors.

Medicare is a program associated with social security and is available to anyone 65 years old or older. Participation has no income restrictions and premiums are paid during working years as well as during retirement years. Medicare covers most medical services but does not cover long term care. It will however, cover care in a long term hospital, skilled nursing care, some home health care, and hospice or respite care. Hearing aids and some prescriptions are also not covered by Medicare. Often, a supplemental policy is purchased to cover items that are limited in coverage or are not covered by Medicare. Many of these supplements are available at various costs. An elder law attorney can help in choosing the best coverage option.

Medicaid is a program that is provided through a collaboration of the federal and state governments. The plan is only available for low income and some disabled individuals or families. For low income seniors, Medicaid can pick up expenses not covered by Medicare as well as provide help for payment of Medicare premiums in some situations. Medicaid provides coverage for both long term care and nursing home care if needed. Each state has some say in the eligibility for coverage and the type of services covered by the Medicaid plan.

Medicare and Medicaid are two programs that are available to eligible seniors to cover healthcare costs. Consulting with an elder law attorney will provide direction as to how to maximize these benefits.

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