Healthcare is one of the most important costs for retired and elderly individuals. Financial planning and savings can help cover medical costs, but now that people are living longer, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put away enough money to cover costs for decades of life without employment. Individuals who are struggling to cover health care costs should know that they can take advantage of government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Even though it is a government program, Medicaid is administered at the state level, meaning that each state has different regulations and requirements for Medicaid assistance. The laws for Medicaid eligibility were recently changed thanks to the Affordable Care Act (sometimes known as Obamacare), and eligibility is now determined by IRS rules overseeing household and income regulations. However, it is important to know that Medicaid is most often used to assist lower-income individuals, so income requirements for Medicaid eligibility are based on the Federal Poverty Line.
Eligibility for Medicaid is usually determined on a case-by-case basis because the size of a household, the income of the household and the Federal Poverty Level (which is adjusted annually) all play a role in determining eligibility. However, you can get a good idea of whether or not you qualify by calculating your Adjusted Gross Income, as well as foreign income, interest and social security income that was not included in taxes. Once you have calculated this income, compare it to the state income eligibility level based on your household size, which is the same size as your household for tax purposes.
If you want to be certain about your Medicaid eligibility, or if you remain unclear about how eligibility is determined, you can always consult an attorney. Enlisting legal aid can not only help you better understand Medicaid eligibility but also ensure that you are able to adequately prepare for your retirement years in other ways, including maximizing benefits from all sources.