Many Florida residents may not entirely understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. If you are one of those people, you may have recently found yourself wanting more information on these programs, especially if you are nearing retirement age. You may be trying to get certain retirement and estate planning matters in order, and Medicaid planning may have crossed your mind.
Though Medicaid essentially helps individuals with limited means pay for health care, it is possible to plan to qualify for that assistance program. By planning ahead, you may have the ability to save yourself and your family essential funds in the event that you need long-term care, hospitalization or routine care in the future.
What are the differences?
When exploring Medicaid planning options, it is important to know the differences between Medicaid and Medicare. As mentioned, Medicaid assists individuals with limited assets and financial resources pay for expenses relating to medical care. In many cases, Medicaid can offer financial help in scenarios that Medicare may not cover, and Medicaid coverage comes at low or no cost to you.
On the other hand, Medicare is an insurance program that the federal government funds that covers individuals who are 65 and older as well as people with disabilities and certain health conditions. Much like other forms of insurance, you would still need to pay premiums, copays and deductibles.
Can you have both?
In some cases, individuals can qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. Dual eligibility may allow you to have Medicare pay for allowable expenses and then Medicaid cover remaining costs that Medicare does not cover. In particular, Medicaid may be useful if you need nursing home care or long-term in-home care in the future. As a result, you may not have to cover much, if any, care costs out of pocket if you have dual coverage.
Planning for Medicaid
Though you may receive Medicare after age 65 or earlier due a disabling condition, qualifying for Medicaid may not come about as readily. As a result, you may want to start assessing your financial situation now to determine whether you could adjust your affairs in effort to qualify for Medicaid in the future. Because this program hinges on a person’s income, assets and other financial details, starting the planning process now may be wise.