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Medicare vs. Medicaid – What’s the Difference?

medical insuranceWhile looking for assisted living accommodations for your parents, you may find that some agencies or homes accept either Medicare or Medicaid, both or neither.

Here is a handy guide to help you navigate the waters of health insurance for the elderly and make sure that you are utilizing your resources to the fullest.

This can be a very confusing time so feel free to call Alvita Care and let the experts help you navigate your aging parents Medicare and Medicaid options.

Medicare is a government run social insurance program that grants access to health insurance for Americans ages 65 years and older as well as to younger people with disabilities. Because it is a social insurance program, enrollees pay into the program therefore benefiting from its health coverage. Within the benefits guidelines, hospital care, outpatient services, private health coverage, and prescriptions are all covered. Part A Medicare covers elderly parents hospitalization needs and part B Medicare covers outpatient care for the elderly. Medicare can be combined with other forms of insurance called supplemental insurance such as AARP. Many elderly people choose to have supplemental insurance because Medicate typically only covers 80% of the cost of healthcare. The supplemental insurance carrier can pick up the remaining 20% of your aging parents health care costs. Check here for more specific information on the defined benefits of Medicare.

Medicaid is a government health program designed for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. This program is funded by both the state and federal governments, but is managed by local states. In order to be a recipient of Medicaid you must be a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident. The program is targeted at health-related services for people with limited incomes in the United States. Medicaid eligibility categories include: assets, age, pregnancy, disability, blindness, income and resources, and citizenship. Many elderly people go onto Medicaid with the help of an eldercare attorney. With the life expectancy increasing, most older adults do not have the means to stay on Medicare alone. For more information on Medicaid go to their website .

The differences are that Medicare is predominately available based off the age of the recipient, while Medicaid is based off need and the ability to pay for medical services. Medicare is an insurance program into which enrollees pay into while Medicaid is a social welfare program. In order to qualify for Medicaid, limited income and financial resources are key factors, while Medicare is determined solely on age and necessity. Medicaid also tends to cover more than Medicare does due to the larger population of people it tends to serve. Most nursing home facilities do have a certain number of beds assigned to Medicaid residents.

It is important to check with the service agency or care homes that you are investigating to see if they take your insurance policy or government health policy. In order to take care of your aging parents, you want to get the biggest bang out of your buck, so finding a location or service that allows you to utilize the resources available to you and your elderly parents is an important way to save you and you parents money.

If you think that you are eligible for either one of these two government assistance programs, check out their websites for more information. It is possible that you or your aging loved ones may be eligible for both.
 

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About AlvitaCare

Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.