Medicare vs. Medicaid – Differences Easily Explained
by Eric Corum
What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
When looking into senior caregiving options, many people have questions about how Medicare and Medicaid are involved, and what the main differences include. Here’s a quick snapshot of how both differ in hopes that it will clear up some of the confusion surrounding this topic.
What’s Medicare – what does Medicare cover?
- A public benefit that is NOT “needs based”: This means that Medicaid is only available to people who earn income under the threshold set by the government and/or have only a certain number of assets.
- If a person has been hospitalized over 3 days, they become eligible for Medicare
- Medicare will pay up to 90 days care in a hospital
- After the first 20 days in a hospital, there is a co-pay required
- Medicare will also pay for 100 days of skilled-nursing care (co-pay required after 20 days)
What’s Medicaid – what does Medicaid cover?
- Medicaid is also a public benefit, but IS “needs based”
- Medicaid is what you’ll need if the stay in hospital exceeds 100 days, primarily nursing home care
- In order to meet the requirements, most people need to asset planning (managing your assets/funds) to ensure that their income level is enough to qualify and their asset level is low enough to qualify
- There are a number of tools such as this article on asset spending and this medicaid planning write-up that attorneys use to help you qualify for Medicaid without running out of resources
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Below is a video that discusses more about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.