Tips You Should Know About When You Enroll in Medicare And Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are two health care programs created as amendments to the Social Security Act in 1965. Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides health insurance to U.S. citizens who are over the age of 65, under 65 with disabilities, and who have end stage kidney disease. Medicaid is both funded federally and by the states. States have different Medicaid programs for different groups of people such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, etc. Medicaid programs differ by state. It is possible to enroll in Medicare while receiving Medicaid.
To enroll in Medicare and Medicaid you must meet the qualifications for each program separately. To qualify for Medicare an individual must meet one of the qualifications mentioned above (be over 65, disabled, etc.). States set their own eligibility requirements for Medicaid. There are several ways to qualify for Medicaid but most programs have an income limit that must be met. This includes wages, social security, assets (accounts, stocks, property, etc.), and other forms of income.
Some states have a “spend down” or “medically needy” program to help those in need qualify for Medicaid. What these programs do is subtract medical expenses from your income making it easier to qualify for Medicaid. For example, Connecticut has a spend down program for those who qualify for Medicaid under all other criteria except the income limit.
When you enroll in Medicare, Medicaid will generally be used to cover what Medicare does not cover. For items covered by both programs, Medicare pays the bills first. This is true for such things as doctor visits and hospital care. Medicaid pays any additional costs such as copays or coinsurance.