Determining Whether Your Loved One Qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid

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Medicare Vs. MedicaidMedicare and Medicaid are two distinct programs that offer financial assistance in paying for medical costs. Although they’re easy to get confused, they’re funded and organized by different parts of the government and cover different needs. Your loved one may qualify for one or both programs. Here’s how to find out if they’re eligible.

Medicare

Medicare is run by the federal government and is based on the age of the person applying. Some people are enrolled in Medicare automatically when they turn 65; others have to enroll during a specific window of time around their 65th birthday. If they miss this window, they may have to pay a late enrollment penalty. Although every U.S. resident is eligible for Medicare once they reach 65, those who haven’t worked long enough may have to pay premiums on some of their services. Reach out to your local social security office or online at socialsecurity.gov if your loved one wasn’t automatically enrolled.

Medicaid

Medicaid is run and paid for primarily by states, so eligibility varies based on where you live. Unlike Medicare, you don’t have to be a certain age to apply. In general, it’s for low-income families or individuals who need help with medical care.  Medicaid covers a wider range of services than Medicare, including long-term nursing care. Visit your state’s Medicaid website to see if your loved one qualifies.

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