Protecting Your Golden Years

With more than 40 years of experience

Know the difference between Medicaid and Medicare

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Care Planning |

If you’re an adult child of aging parents in Georgia, you may be glad to know that there are federal programs in place to assist your loved ones. Determining which program best fits your parent’s needs can be challenging. Medicaid is a federal healthcare program administered individually in each state. People often confuse Medicaid with Medicare, which is another elder assistance program.

It is helpful to understand the primary differences between the two programs, particularly regarding who funds them, what the eligibility requirements are and what services each program provides. There are certain reasons why your parent would want to secure Medicaid over Medicare. Qualifying for one program does not necessarily mean the same person will qualify for the other.

What would make Medicaid the best fit for your parent?

There are certain benefits to Medicaid that may not exist in the Medicare program. For instance, Medicare doesn’t cover expenses for eye exams or dental care, but Medicaid will. The following list provides basic information about Medicaid, as well as possible benefits that may help provide for your loved one in his or her golden years:

  • There are no age requirements.
  • Medicaid eligibility is based on income.
  • It covers various expenses, including medical bills.
  • It also covers many costs associated with nursing home care.
  • Medicaid often covers up to 20% of costs not covered by Medicare.

If your loved one’s status is low-income, he or she may want to learn more about the Medicaid program. In some cases, a person might qualify for both programs. One of the main differences between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicare is only available to people of a certain age.

What if legal issues arise?

Your parent may also want to protect certain assets in order to provide for a spouse who is still living independently or for a special needs child. One can sometimes use Medicaid to provide for these needs. Financial issues can be complex, and when someone is in the latter years of his or her life, trying to figure it out alone can be stressful.

Adapting to life in a nursing home presents challenges in many aspects of life, not only for the patient but for the rest of the family, especially adult children who are a parent’s primary caretakers. Many people often address Medicaid issues during the estate planning process. Speaking with someone who is well-versed in elder law and estate planning issues may help resolve any problems that arise.