Medicare premiums and deductibles eat away the meager income of many senior citizens in the U.S. Those that are on fixed incomes must often choose between purchasing necessities and purchasing their medication. This is a choice that no one should be forced to make. Some seniors may be eligible for Medicaid and Medicare; this is called dual eligibles. Medicaid can fill in some of the gap left by Medicare.
Those that are 65 years of age and disabled persons are eligible for Medicare Part A. This part of Medicare does not require a monthly premium or deductible. The Medicare Part A coverage pays for hospital visits. Furthermore, Medicare Part B pays for doctor visits, and this part of Medicare does require a premium and deductible.
Seniors that have a limited income can receive help eliminating the coverage gap. In order to be eligible, the seniors must not have more than $4,000 in bank accounts, stocks, or bonds. For couples, the amount is $6,000. There must not be more than $6,000 in bank accounts, stocks, or bonds. The state Medicaid program will step in and cover many of the out of pocket costs. Medicare is still primary, but Medicaid will step in and meet much of the out of pocket costs. Thus, those who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare have less of a coverage gap than others. So, if a person is Medicaid eligible the coverage gap does not affect them as much as others.
In conclusion, there are strict guidelines and regulations that regulate Medicaid eligibility. Those that can qualify for both programs have an advantage. These individuals can receive extra help meeting their out of pocket expenses.