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Medicare vs Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

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Medicaid and Medicare are frequently used interchangeably because they both describe health insurance programs. Though both programs assist Americans in paying for health care, the kind of aid each one offers is very different. If your relative only currently needs non-medical care, Medicare and Medicaid might also cover part-time or live-in home care for your loved one. Phoenix Home Care Assistance is a top provider of senior care which offers the following explanation of the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.

Who is eligible?

Medicaid This state-run program is designed for people of all ages who are unable to afford health care. Whether or not your loved one can receive Medicaid depends on his or her income compared with the cost of living in the area. If your loved one requires health care and is living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), he or she may be eligible for Medicaid.

Medicare This federally run program is designed for seniors and those with disabilities. To be eligible for Medicare, your loved one must be an American citizen who is at least 65 years of age and is also eligible for social security benefits.

Who is responsible?

Medicaid – The federal government does have certain regulations for Medicaid. However, each state is responsible for determining who can receive Medicaid and how much assistance they will be offered. 

Medicare – The terms and conditions of Medicare are determined by the federal government. These conditions are always subject to change and may be different for each person depending on personal history, age, and health status.

What is covered?

Medicaid – The primary services that Medicaid covers includes visits to a doctor’s office or hospital. Additional options, including dental, optometry, and hourly home care in Phoenix, may also be included in certain states.

Medicare – Medicare primarily covers health care needs like office and hospital visits, medical procedures, in-home care, and prescription drugs. Medicare can cover other services depending on which plan your loved one selects.

Whether Medicare or Medicaid makes most sense for your loved one, it is possible that government funding can help cover his or her health care expenses, including non-medical home care. As a leading provider of 24/7 care in Phoenix, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance provide a variety of services, including providing emotional support, assistance with bathing, medication reminders, mobility assistance, and meal preparation. Call a Care Manager at 602.388.1085 for more information or to schedule a free in-home consultation.