Medicare versus Medicaid: Be sure you understand the difference

There are several government programs that serve elders in Georgia and beyond. Medicare and Medicaid are the two most people have at least heard of, if not know something about. However, there are a few key differences between these two program,s and it is critical that anyone incorporating either into a long-term care plan understand what each has to offer.

If you have a disability and have not yet reached age 65, you may be eligible for Medicare. If you are 65 or older, you may still qualify for benefits this health care insurance program provides. The good thing about Medicare is that eligibility is not dependent upon your level of income.

Medicaid is also health care coverage. However, it is available only for the lower income population. There are certain circumstances where an individual might qualify for both programs. For example, someone who is under age 65 who has a disability and also has low income may be eligible for coverage under both systems.

Those who are dually eligible may be able to obtain coverage at a lower cost. The services covered under Medicare or Medicaid may also differ. To avoid confusion, it helps to seek guidance and support from an experienced elder law attorney who is well-versed in all aspects of long-term care planning and can provide recommendations as to which program best fits a particular person's needs and long-term planning goals. A Georgia attorney can also act as a personal advocate if a legal obstacle arises regarding these programs or any other long-term care issue.

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