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Elder Law: Medicaid versus Medicare

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Elder Law

Florida is a prime location for retirees. This, of course, means that many people who live here are 65 or older. Older people often encounter elder law issues as they deal with health concerns, financial matters and other important issues. Understanding the difference between Medicaid and Medicare can be quite confusing, and both are typically relevant to someone in this age group.

Though they are two separate programs, there are similarities between Medicaid and Medicare. It is possible to be eligible for both simultaneously. There are several things to keep in mind to avoid confusion or legal problems, especially for adult children who are trying to help an aging parent take care of their health and finances.

Avoiding elder law issues with Medicaid and Medicare

These programs are both government-funded. Beyond that, they each have a separate purpose. Medicare is a federal health insurance program. Medicaid, on the other hand, is financial assistance that functions as a joint effort between state and federal governments. Medicare is standardized, meaning the cost and health conditions that are covered are the same in all 50 states. Eligibility requirements and other rules for Medicaid vary by state.

Is one program more beneficial than the other?

Medicaid often covers expenses that Medicare does not. These expenses may include at-home personal care services or nursing home care. If an individual has low income, Medicaid can help whereas Medicare is based on health conditions rather than income. If legal issues arise that a family does not feel equipped to resolve on their own, they can seek support from an elder law attorney.