Medicaid – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Elderly Legal and Financial Planning Glossary

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program that provides coverage for low-income individuals and families. It is jointly funded by the federal government and individual states, with each state having its own set of rules and regulations regarding eligibility and coverage. The program was established in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act and is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Who is eligible for Medicaid?

Eligibility for Medicaid is based on income and other factors such as age, disability, and family size. In general, individuals and families with incomes below a certain threshold are eligible for Medicaid coverage. Each state sets its own income limits and eligibility criteria, so it is important to check with your state’s Medicaid office to determine if you qualify.

What services does Medicaid cover for the elderly?

Medicaid provides a wide range of services for the elderly, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, nursing home care, and home health care. In addition, Medicaid also covers long-term care services such as assisted living and adult day care. These services are crucial for elderly individuals who may require ongoing medical care and assistance with daily activities.

How does Medicaid affect financial planning for the elderly?

Medicaid can have a significant impact on financial planning for the elderly, particularly when it comes to long-term care costs. In order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of long-term care services, individuals must meet certain asset and income limits. This can require careful planning to ensure that assets are structured in a way that allows for Medicaid eligibility while still providing for the individual’s needs.

What are the differences between Medicaid and Medicare?

While both Medicaid and Medicare are government-funded health insurance programs, there are key differences between the two. Medicare is primarily for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as those with certain disabilities. It is funded solely by the federal government and provides coverage for hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. In contrast, Medicaid is available to low-income individuals of all ages and is jointly funded by the federal government and individual states. It covers a wider range of services, including long-term care and home health care.

How can an elder law attorney help with Medicaid planning?

Elder law attorneys specialize in legal issues affecting the elderly, including Medicaid planning. These attorneys can help individuals and families navigate the complex rules and regulations surrounding Medicaid eligibility and coverage. They can assist with asset protection strategies, estate planning, and other legal matters to ensure that clients are able to access the care they need while preserving their financial security. Working with an elder law attorney can help alleviate the stress and confusion often associated with Medicaid planning and ensure that individuals receive the care they deserve.