Do you get confused between Medicare and Medicaid? We get it. The names are similar and they are both government healthcare programs. There are, however, some profound differences. Each program has its own set of laws and regulations. Let us discuss what differentiates Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is governed by federal law. While it is designed for those who are at the age of 65 or older, Medicare also provides benefits to eligible individuals living with certain disabilities, those in End Stage Renal Disease, and those with ALS. The actual coverage provided by Medicare will depend on what you select, but can include:
● Care and services received as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (Medicare Part A)
● Doctor visits, care and services received as an outpatient, and certain preventative care (Medicare Part B)
● Prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D)

Medicaid, on the other hand, is a joint federal and state program that is governed by state law. Each state has its own Medicaid programs, but they are run in accord with federal guidelines. Medicaid provides health insurance coverage to low income households. Coverage can include major hospitalization as well as routine care and services provided by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, federally qualified health centers and clinics, as well as doctors, nurse midwives, and certified pediatric and family nurse practitioners.

When it comes to long-term care planning, knowing the difference between Medicare and Medicaid is vital. While Medicare Part A only covers up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility, Medicaid covers nursing home care for extended stays. In fact, with the increase in cost of long-term care, many have come to rely on Medicaid coverage to cover the costs of nursing home and long-term care. With proper planning, a person can protect assets from being rapidly depleted by long-term care costs prior to qualifying for Medicaid.

For assistance with Medicaid and long-term care planning, our office is here for you and your loved ones. Please contact us to set up a meeting at your earliest convenience.