Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are two separate health care programs. Medicare is a type of health insurance sponsored by the federal government which you pay for in your payroll taxes. Generally, if you have paid in to Medicare for a sufficient number of quarters, benefits begin when you turn 65 or, in some cases, when you become disabled. “Part A” pays for hospitalization, within limits. A medicare recipient has the option of enrolling in “Part B” which provides basic medical insurance for an extra premium. Medicare can also pays for some of your prescription medication expense if you choose to enroll in Medicare “Part D”. Under some circumstances, Medicare pays for a limited number of days a patient spends in a nursing home for rehabilithetation purposes,

Medicaid is a federally funded program administered by the states for the benefit of impoverished persons. If a person is eligible, Medicaid pays for medical services including nursing home care. To be eligible, a person must have virtually no assets and must complete an application for assistance with which financial records must be submitted. Medicaid eligibility can be denied if the person has assets above the limits or has given away assets within the past five years, also known as the “look-back period.” There are significant exceptions, such as the law which allows the transfer of a residence to a child where care provided by that child prevents the parents admission into a nursing home for the past two years. Careful planning for Medicaid eligibility within the law should be part of many estate plans. Attorney Rubino is familiar with the rules of Medicare and Medicaid and can guide you in developing an estate plan.

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