If you’ve never had to consider post-retirement health care for either a loved one or yourself, Martine Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation understands that you may not know the difference between Medicaid and Medicare. In fact, many people assume that they are either two different names for the same program or that they are mutually exclusive programs from which one must choose. In fact, neither is true.

Medicare is a health insurance program in which enrollees pay premiums and copays for health care coverage. The benefits and guidelines are the same everywhere across the nation. In general, a citizen is eligible to apply for Medicare coverage after they turn 65 years old, but exceptions are made for earlier application in some cases of ALS or end-stage kidney disease.

Medicaid eligibility is different from state to state. It is not a health insurance program like Medicare, but rather a healthcare assistance program for those who cannot afford the premiums and copays associated with Medicare and for those who cannot afford private health insurance. One of the differences with which we deal the most at the Martine Center is that Medicaid covers long-term assisted living and nursing home expenses, while Medicare does not.

One of the major points of the intersection of the two programs and of which many people are not aware of is that in certain instances, Medicare patients may be eligible to receive Medicaid assistance. More than half of Americans in long-term nursing facilities rely on Medicaid assistance to cover the costs of their care. For more information on how Medicare and Medicaid may apply to your family’s situation, please contact our center’s professionals for assistance and/or guidance.