There’s a good chance that both of these programs factor into your retirement healthcare plans. But do you know the differences between the two? Have you thought about whether you currently qualify for Medicaid and how you would get qualified quickly if you needed it?

Many older people get confused about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Understanding these is important when approaching your estate planning process because many people have the misunderstanding that Medicare will cover their long-term care expenses.

While both Medicare and Medicaid are government health care insurance programs that date back to the mid-1960s, they have different plan management, different plan funding, and also offer different plan products. Medicare and Medicaid are different programs that are both designed to provide health care. Medicare is meant to provide health care to Americans aged 65 and above, as well as Americans younger than age 65 who have a qualifying disability.

But the purpose of Medicaid is to give health care to low income Americans without any age limit restrictions. Some of the primary differences between these programs include:

  • Cost differences, since Medicaid costs are not fixed whereas Medicare costs are.
  • Eligibility; American citizens age 65 and above are automatically enrolled in Medicare. Certain debilitating diseases for those under age 65 can also be eligible to receive Medicare. It is possible to be eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare if you are aged 65 and above.

In the next blog post in this series you’ll learn about why Medicaid is different than Medicare when it comes to the purpose of determining eligibility for long-term care services.

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