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What's the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

The world of health insurance is a complex one, even for those of us who work in it every day. So it’s no surprise that many seniors and their adult children struggle to make sense of all their insurance options. It can be overwhelming to try and determine what services are covered and what coverage you are eligible for. Two of the most frequently confused programs are Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, some people aren’t even sure which one they have!
The following information should clarify several major differences between the two programs and help you understand when/how/if you may be eligible for benefits.
Medicare is a national health insurance for Americans over the age of 65 and the disabled. This is intended to pay for standard medical care and short term nursing care or rehabilitation. This is a federally funded program and benefits are the same for everyone (based on which Medicare plan you are registered for) regardless of what state you live in.  Medicare DOES NOT cover the cost of long term, custodial, residential, extended nursing home or assisted living care.  The video below explains in more detail each type of Medicare coverage and you can review options here for how to select care based on each person’s needs and finances.
Medicaid is a cooperatively administered health insurance program supported by both federal and state funding. The guidelines and benefits for Medicaid will differ depending on where you live. In the state of Ohio, Medicaid insurance covers nursing home, assisted living and long term care for seniors and disabled adults or children. In order to be eligible for Medicaid in the state of Ohio, a senior has to demonstrate an ongoing need for medical care or health care services in which the costs exceed his/her income.
Medicaid is not a guaranteed benefit. You have to qualify and apply for coverage based on income and assets. In some situations, such as when one spouse stays in the community, you do not have to exhaust all of your financial resources in order to apply for Medicaid. Planning ahead with the assistance of a qualified Elder Care attorney can make completing a Medicaid application easier when the time comes.
For more information about Trusts and Estate Planning or for assistance with a Medicaid application. Please contact our offices. For more information about your Medicare options, please visit Medicare.gov or contact one of our Care Coordinators who can direct you to local resources.

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