Medicare is not Medicaid

By January 19, 2011Uncategorized

We have discussed this before on the blog, but many people continue to confuse Medicare with Medicaid.  Both of these programs deal with healthcare, and they admittedly have strikingly similar names, but there are actually strong differences between the two programs.  One key difference is in how the two programs deal with seniors who require long-term healthcare.

Much of the confusion about Medicare and long-term health care stems from the fact that Medicare offers very limited care in a long-term care facility.  Here is what Medicare may provide to individuals in need of long-term healthcare:

  • Coverage for the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Very rarely, coverage for the next 80 days of nursing home care, but with a deductible of more than $100 per day.
  • Individuals who are enrolled in a managed Medicare plan and meet strict requirements may have days 21-100 covered without a deductible.

ALTCS/Medicaid, on the other hand provides more comprehensive long-term healthcare, but it is only available to seniors who qualify for the benefit.  For seniors who meet eligibility requirements, Arizona Medicaid is the best alternative.  And, while Arizona Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements, individuals can engage in ALTCS planning to help them prepare to qualify.  Individuals considering long-term healthcare should always speak with an Elder Law attorney about ALTCS planning before applying for the benefit.