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What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

Medicaid and Medicare, while sounding very similar and often confused, are two significantly different federal programs.  In a broad sense, you are eligible for Medicare when you've worked and paid into Social Security throughout your life. Medicaid, on an equally broad base, is a program that is based on your financial portfolio, or lack thereof.

While Medicaid is a Federal program, the state is given minimal restrictions in how it is administered. This is why you may not be eligible in another state when you determine you are eligible in Florida, and vice versa. Under the umbrella of Medicaid are numerous programs, all with their own set of requisite purposes and regulations. One program under Medicaid covers nursing home care and other more general health care costs. Similarly, Medicare offers different coverage for different purposes classified as parts.

When you receive an inheritance or settlement, this could jeopardize your ability to qualify for Medicaid. If you need Medicaid assistance to cover your medical needs, you don't want to run the risk of any current assets or future assets to disqualify you. There are ways to retain your assets but not have them count against you.

You don't want to have assets you are saving as a part of your legacy to bestow on your loved ones hurt your chances of receiving the care you need.  This is where a Florida attorney who is practiced in Medicaid planning may be able to guide your financial decisions and keep you protected should new situations push you into an income bracket that is too high.

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