As a health insurance professional, I deal with this confusion all the time. Here’s what you need to know:
Although Medicaid and Medicare sound alike and are both government programs, they exist for very different reasons.
- Medicaid is a federal program, administered by each state. It provides basic health coverage for low-income, financially dependent people. You must qualify for eligibility, which is tied to financial need.
- Medicare is also a government program. It provides health insurance for people 65 or older, and people under age 65 with certain disabilities. Medicare is not tied to financial need. It is an entitlement program paid for through your Social Security taxes.
Since the U.S. healthcare system is THE MOST EXPENSIVE in the world, it makes sense to find health care insurance that assures you complete health care coverage, even if you have Medicare.
That’s because “having Medicare” will not pay your bills when you:
- Need financial assistance while you are going through a critical illness. (But having Critical Care Health Insurance will pay you cash.)
- Require prolonged health care assistance when you are older and in need of assisted living, nursing home care, hospice or home health care (Like Long-Term Care Insurance does.)
- Need a cash benefit over and above any other medical insurance or disability insurance (As Short-Term Care and Critical CareHealth Insurance will provide).
I am sensitive to the worry I see in my potential clients’ faces when they consider how they want to be cared for, should they face a health crisis. That’s why health insurance advance planning makes good sense.
There is nothing that beats surefooted planning for all possibilities. That helps our clients – and me – rest easier, knowing they are protected.