Medicare and Medicaid

Understanding Medicare and Medicaid

An important part of estate planning is health care planning, which includes applying for Medicare or Medicaid. Understanding the difference between medicare and medicaid can be confusing, but we are here to help you navigate qualification and costs.

Medicare is a health-care benefit provided by the federal government to individuals over age 65, or under age 65 and disabled. Medicare covers doctor visits, tests, care provided in a hospital, and limited benefits in a nursing home. Under medicare, 20 days in a nursing home are paid for (in limited circumstances, it might pay the partial cost of 80 additional days).

Medicaid is health insurance for low income recipients. To qualify, you must not exceed certain income and asset limits. If your income or assets exceed the qualifying limits you will not be eligible. There is no age restriction to qualify. Medicaid also pays for the entire cost of a nursing home.


To qualify for Medicare you must be over 65 and eligible for Social Security benefits. You may also qualify if you are under age 65 and have been disabled for two years. An application at the Social Security office or website will get your benefits started.

To qualify for Medicaid you must submit an application and provide detailed proof of all financial transactions for the previous 60 months. The laws around Medicaid coverage are extensive. Often, hospitals and nursing homes will offer to do an application for you, at no cost. Even with the best of intentions, these institutions may not have the legal knowledge necessary to determine whether or not your qualification is accurate. A legal professional will be beneficial in understanding your qualifications and receiving your benefits as soon as possible.

Don’t try to determine eligibility alone. Contact the Gordon Law Group to help you get started with Medicare and Medicaid. Contact us today at 615-649-0401.

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