What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?

Most people in search of a retirement community want to know their payment options. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding two different programs and their intended purpose. While Medicare and Medicaid do share a few holders, their individual purposes are different from one another. If you would like to know more about Medicare and Medicaid and which one can help you with your senior community, you have come to the right place.

Who Qualifies for Medicaid?

A lot of people think Medicaid was designed for people of retirement age. In truth, Medicaid is a government program intended for low-income households who need some extra help with medical expenses. To qualify for Medicaid, the household must have a certain number of residents while remaining under a certain annual salary. Age has nothing to do with qualifying for Medicaid.

Another common misconception is that programs like Medicaid and Medicare are “one size fits all.” Actually, Medicaid comes in several different “packages” depending on the needs of the qualifying household. Generally speaking, it works best for low-income households who require long-term, expensive care. While many benefits of Medicaid are free, some require a monthly premium or possibly money taken from your assets down the road. If you are attempting to qualify for Medicaid, make sure you ask plenty of questions about which plan is right for you.

Who Qualifies for Medicare?

So, if Medicare isn’t for low-income households, who qualifies? The national government designed the Medicare program for individuals aged 65 or older, whether disabled or able-bodied. The purpose of Medicare is to help people entering retirement with short-term or long-term medical care. Additionally, Medicare does not hinge on an individual’s annual income. So, the biggest difference between Medicare vs. Medicaid is the qualifier.

Medicare works much the same way as regular insurance. Individuals often provide copayments at a discounted rate or pay additional deductibles. Like Medicaid (and other forms of insurance), individuals who qualify for Medicare choose a plan based on their personal needs and habits.

Does Medicare Cover the Cost of Senior Living?

Before we answer that question, it is worth noting that some individuals qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Depending on your financial situation, annual salary, age, etc., there is some overlap between the two. If you qualify for both, they both can be applied to senior living in a way.

While Medicare doesn’t typically cover independent living in a retirement community, it can help with special medical care or other forms of assistance within the community. When searching for a senior living community, make sure you ask plenty of questions about their payment options, which insurances they accept, etc. Whether it’s you or a loved one, you don’t want to deal with any financial surprises down the road.

Looking for a Great Senior Community?

The Woodlands is an Independent Senior Housing community where quality, convenience, and the comfort of a caring and vibrant community free you to live your best life. Contact us today with any questions or for more information!