What's the Difference Sign Under a Torn Piece of PaperMedicare and Medicaid are two separate health insurance programs run by the government. While many people who qualify for one may be eligible for the other, there are differences in the services covered, eligibility requirements, and the amount a recipient will pay in copays and deductibles.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is run by the United States government and provides health coverage to people over age 65 and people under 65 who have a qualifying disability. Patients pay part of their medical costs through deductibles or small monthly premiums. Since Medicare is a federal program, the rules are essentially the same in every state.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a needs-based state and federal assistance program that provides health care coverage to people with little to no income. Each state administers its own Medicaid programs, so there are different rules and types of benefits depending on where you live. For example, New York covers Medicaid recipients for in-home medical care as well as stays in residential nursing facilities.

While Medicaid is available to people of all ages, it’s common for people in later life to use Medicaid to pay for some or all of their nursing home care. If you meet income requirements, Medicaid will send a monthly payment for your medical bills directly to your health care providers, and you either pay nothing or a small copay. If you don’t qualify, you will likely have to pay these costs—usually thousands of dollars per month—out of your pocket.

Will I Need Help Filing for Medicaid Benefits in New York?

You may be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, or you may have to do some planning to qualify for Medicaid. If you’re worried about Medicaid eligibility requirements, the elder law attorneys at Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C. can advise you on the best way to plan for nursing home care. Contact us today through our online form or call us at (718) 333-5007 to get started.