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Medicare vs. Long-Term Care Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Chad Seiter | May 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

Navigating healthcare options for seniors can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding Medicare and Long-Term Care Medicaid. While both programs provide essential services, they serve different purposes and have distinct eligibility requirements.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 and older, covering hospital stays, doctor visits, and short-term rehabilitation. It's designed to help with acute medical needs and recovery after hospitalizations, but it doesn't cover long-term custodial care.

On the other hand, Medicaid is a joint state and federal program that provides medical assistance to individuals who qualify. Importantly, Medicaid often covers long-term care costs, such as those associated with long-term care nursing homes. Kentucky Long-Term Care Medicaid, for instance, has specific eligibility rules that must be navigated carefully, including income and asset limits, and the five-year lookback period for asset transfers. I find that most of my middle-class and upper-middle-class clients can qualify for Kentucky Long-Term Care with some strategic planning, even if that planning is at a very late hour.

In my practice, I often see families unsure about which program they can rely on and sometimes using the terms interchangeably. It's crucial to understand that while Medicare can help manage acute medical issues, Medicaid may be necessary when it comes to long-term care needs. Discussing these matters with an elder law attorney can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Additionally, it's important to remember that Medicaid rules, especially those for Long-Term Care Medicaid, can vary significantly from state to state. Therefore, be cautious about the information you find online, as it might not apply to your specific circumstances in Kentucky. Consulting with a local elder law attorney ensures that you receive accurate and relevant advice.

This blog is for educational purposes. For personalized legal advice, please schedule an appointment with our firm.

About the Author

Chad Seiter

Attorney at Law


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