Legislation Aims To Make Medicare More Affordable For Lower
The Improving Medicare Coverage Act, introduced in the U.S. House in September by Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, would do away with cost-sharing and premiums for Medicare beneficiaries with income up to 200% of the poverty level .
This bill, or something like it, would eliminate the current sticker shock that can go along with the transition from expanded Medicaid to Medicare. If you have an opinion on the legislation, you can reach out to your elected officials to speak with them about it.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health marketplace updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.
Medicare And Medicaid: How To Qualify For Both
Medicare and Medicaid are different programs. Depending on your healthcare and financial situation, its possible to have both. But, just because you have one, doesnt mean youll automatically have the other. Medicare is a federal program, while Medicaid is a state program.
Get Important News & Updates
Sign up for email and/or text notices of Medicaid and other FSSA news, reminders, and other important information. When registering your email, check the category on the drop-down list to receive notices of Medicaid updates check other areas of interest on the drop-down list to receive notices for other types of FSSA updates.
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How Are My Health Care Costs Reimbursed If I Have Medicare And Medicaid
When dual eligible beneficiaries have healthcare expenses, Medicare pays first and Medicaid pays last. But this is not the case for things Medicare doesnt cover, like long-term care. If Medicaid is covering a beneficiarys long-term care, Medicare will still be the primary payer for any Medicare-covered services like skilled nursing care or physical therapy.
Although it is less common, if a dual eligible individual has additional coverage then Medicare pays first, Medigap will pay second, and Medicaid is the last payer for their claims .
Can You Have Medicaid And Medicare
Yes! This is known as dual eligibility, and most of your health care costs are likely covered. Medicare is typically considered to be the primary insurance , and Medicaid is the payer of last resort.
Medicaid pays only after Medicare, employer group health plans, and a Medicare Supplement insurance have paid. Note: If you qualify for Medicaid and your income/circumstances are unlikely to change, you should not need supplemental insurance.
Medicaid helps Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare premiums and cost-sharing. Also, it provides many of them with benefits not covered by Medicare, such as help with long-term care needs, some medications, or eyeglasses.
If you, as a Medicare beneficiary, qualify for Medicaid, you are automatically eligible for Extra Help, a Medicare program to help pay for drug costs like premiums, copays, and deductibles.
Some states and health plans offer Medicare-Medicaid plans for certain people who have both Medicare and Medicaid to make it easier to get the services they need.
As with anything that is Medicaid related, contact your state agency for assistance.
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After You Apply For Medicare
No matter how you applied, once your application is complete, the Social Security office will send you a copy of the information it has on record regarding your application. Be sure to double-check this document for any mistakes, as this is your chance to correct it.
Some time later, youll get your Medicare card via mail, so be on the lookout for envelopes from the Social Security office.
How Do I Enroll
The first thing you need to do is find out if you are eligibleSome health plans require you to meet minimum requirements before you can enroll.. You must be a resident of the state where you apply for the Medicaid program. Visit your state Medicaid site for information on eligibility, coverage and more. You can apply with your state Medicaid agency in person, over the phone or online.
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If I Have Medicaid Do I Need Medicare Part D
Those that have Medicare and Medicaid will automatically be enrolled in a Part D plan if they dont select one for themselves. Its in the enrollees best interest to select a policy to enroll in, instead of being dropped into a plan. But, either way, Medicaid will help cover the costs associated with premiums, copayments, or coinsurances.
Q How Much Income Can I Receive And Still Be Eligible For Medicaid
A. Income is money that you get from working, or money that someone gives you, or checks that you receive, such as a Social Security check, unemployment benefits, child support, retirement benefits, or sick pay. Whether your income level qualifies you or your family for Medicaid depends on the size of your family and the Medicaid program for which you are applying.
Income limits are set each year by the federal government to define the Federal Poverty Level for different family sizes. In general, if your household income is at or below the current 100% Federal Poverty Level for your household size, your family is likely to be eligible for Medicaid. Children from age 1 to under age 6 can qualify for Medicaid benefits when household income is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. Pregnant women and infants under age 1 qualify for Medicaid with family income at or below the 200% Federal Poverty Level, and pregnant women count as 2 family members.
See our tables of income limits for applying for DMMA programs to find out where your family income is, in relation to these income benchmarks.
Medical assistance programs other than Medicaid have different income level requirements. For example, uninsured children under age 19 who live in families with incomes at or below the 200% Federal Poverty Level are eligible for low cost health insurance under the Delaware Healthy Children Program.
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How To Apply For Medicaid
You can apply online on your state Medicaid website. If you dont want to use the online portal, you can refer to your state website to see if a paper application is available. You can also visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov to check your eligibility and apply.
Below are a list of items you will need to apply for Medicaid:
Birth certificate, passport, or other documents that show proof of citizenship
State ID, drivers license, and other documents that show proof of age and identity
Recent pay stubs and tax returns
Utility bills or rent to prove your residence
Medical records if applying for disability
After you complete your application, you will receive your letter of eligibility. This will let you know if you are eligible for Medicaid. You can appeal the decision if you receive notification that you dont qualify.
Q How Will I Receive My Medical Care
A. In Delaware, Medicaid benefits are provided mainly through a managed care organization, or MCO, under contract with the state. Managed care is an organized way to ensure that people receive the quality medical care they need in the most cost-effective manner. Some Medicaid recipients in Delaware those who also receive Medicare and those in Long Term Care Medicaid programs such as the Nursing Facility program do not receive their medical care through a managed care organization.
DMMA provides a choice of managed care organizations so you can select the MCO plan that is best for you and your family. Delaware contracts with two managed care plans AmeriHealth Caritas and Highmark Health Options.
The Medicaid MCO provides almost all of the care for Medicaid members who join their plan. Prescription and non-emergency medical transportation services are covered directly by Medicaid, not through the MCO. Medicaid recipients need to show their Medicaid card to pharmacies and transportation providers when receiving these services.
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Millions Under Expanded Medicaid Will Transition To Medicare
There are currently almost 20 million people covered under expanded Medicaid, accounting for almost a quarter of all Medicaid enrollees nationwide. Under ACA rules, there are no asset limitations for Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women, children, or adults eligible due to Medicaid expansion. Instead, eligibility is just based on an ACA-specific version of modified adjusted gross income , along with immigration status.
But Medicaid expansion and the MAGI-based eligibility rules only apply to adults under the age of 65. After that, expanded Medicaid is no longer available. To be clear, Medicaid remains available after age 65 and many older adults rely on it for example, the majority of nursing home residents in the United States have Medicaid coverage in addition to their Medicare coverage.
But once you turn 65, eligibility for Medicaid is based on both income and assets. Theres some variation from one state to another , but in general, the income limits are lower than those that apply to the Medicaid expansion population, and the asset limits are quite restrictive.
This can lead to some sticker shock for people who were eligible for expanded Medicaid prior to turning 65, but then have to transition to Medicare possibly without eligibility for any further Medicaid assistance once they turn 65.
What Does Medicaid Cover In Florida
The amount and type of services that will be covered by Medicaid will depend on things like how old the beneficiary is, which program the beneficiary is actually enrolled in, and even the type of services that will be necessary medically. These services might include community behavioral health, prescription medications, visual, dental, transportation, hospice, nursing home, home health care, family planning, hospital, doctor visits, and more.
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Contact Social Security To Sign Up For Medicare
You can either:
Know when to sign up for Part BYou can only sign up for Part B at certain times. If you dont sign up for Part B when you turn 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty. Find out when you can sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
Get Help Finding A Medicare And Medicaid Policy
Medicaid and Medicare are not that similar. Medicaid is available to individuals and families living below the poverty level. But, Medicare is for people 65 and older, as well as those on disability.
Once you have clarity on the facts regarding Medicare vs. Medicaid, you can make the right decisions. If you have questions about your Medicare options, contact us today.
Our agents can inform you of all your options. Call us at the number above and we can help you review your best options. Or, fill out an online rate form to see your rates now.
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Unitedhealthcare Senior Care Options Plan
UnitedHealthcare SCO is a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medicaid program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plans contract renewal with Medicare. This plan is a voluntary program that is available to anyone 65 and older who qualifies for MassHealth Standard and Original Medicare. If you have MassHealth Standard, but you do not qualify for Original Medicare, you may still be eligible to enroll in our MassHealth Senior Care Option plan and receive all of your MassHealth benefits through our SCO program.
What Steps Do I Need To Take To Move From Expanded Medicaid To Medicare
If youre enrolled in expanded Medicaid and youll soon be 65, youll want to familiarize yourself with the health coverage and assistance programs that might be available to you.
Understand that although your assets have not been taken into consideration to determine your eligibility for expanded Medicaid, that will likely change when you turn 65. Every state has an asset limit for full Medicaid eligibility if youre 65 or older, and most states also have asset limits for their MSPs.
But if you do qualify for an MSP particularly the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program along with Extra Help for prescription drugs you may find that you still qualify for premium-free coverage and very limited out-of-pocket costs.
Youll want to reach out to your states Medicaid office prior to turning 65, to be sure you understand the specifics of 65+ Medicaid and MSP eligibility.
You can also reach out to the Medicare SHIP in your state, to see what resources and assistance are available to you.
You might also want to find a Medicare broker who can help you understand the available Medigap, Part D, and Medicare Advantage plans. Your limited income might make you a good candidate for a low-cost or zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan, leaving you with just the cost of Medicare Part B.
Heres more about choosing between Medigap and Medicare Advantage theres no single solution that works for everyone, so take your time and compare the options available to you.
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What Do I Need To Apply
The necessary documentation needed to apply for Medicaid also depends on your category, specifically whether you fall under the Modified Adjusted Gross Income or non-MAGI guidelines. These guidelines are defined in the section below.
MAGI eligibility groups include:
- Pregnant women
- Infants and children under 19 years of age
- Childless adults who are not pregnant, 19-64 years of age, not on Medicare, and could be certified disabled but not on Medicare
- Parents/caretaker relatives
- Family Planning Benefit Program and/or
- Children in foster care
Non – MAGI Eligibility Groups include:
- Individuals 65 years of age or older, who are not a parent or caretaker relative,
- individuals who are blind or disabled who do not meet the criteria of any of the MAGI eligibility groups
- Residents of Adult Home run by LDSS, OMH Residential Care Centers/Community Residences
- Individuals eligible for the following programs:
- AIDS Health Insurance Program
- Medicaid Buy-in Program for Working People with Disabilities
- Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program
Application for Non-MAGI
The following paper application may only be printed and completed if you are applying at an LDSS for Medicaid because you are over 65 years of age or an individual in your household is deemed certified blind or disabled, or you are applying for Medicaid with a spenddown.
Learn More About Medicare
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While Medicare and Medicaid are different programs, its possible to be enrolled in both programs at the same time. If you do not qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment, you may be able to apply if youre eligible by visiting your local Social Security office or filling out an online application.
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How To Qualify For Medicare And Medicaid
Beneficiaries can enroll in Medicaid through the state program office. If you think youre eligible, contact your state health department to apply. To be eligible for Medicaid your income will need to be below a predetermined amount.
If your income is above this amount but you struggle with high medical costs, you may want to check if a Medicaid spend-down program is available in your state.
Youre eligible for Medicare if youre over the age of 65 or on disability for at least 24 months. Although, you apply for Medicare online at the Social Security Administration website.
Florida Medicaid Program Eligibility
Medicaid is a program for medical assistance that gives low-income individuals and families access to health care that they wouldnt otherwise have. Medicaid also assists people with disabilities and the elderly with the costs of expenses like care in nursing facilities and other long-term medical bills.
The agency responsible for Medicaid in Florida is the Agency for Health Care Administration, also known as simply the Agency. The Agency has successfully completed implementing the SMMC program. Under this program, most of the recipients of Medicaid are enrolled into one of a variety of health plans. These health plans are accredited nationally and selected by a competitive procurement process.
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Applying For Medicare Online
If your situation is relatively straightforward, applying online can be your best option. Here are the steps to follow:
Although an online application is the most convenient for many, there are reasons you may not want to apply online, including any of the following scenarios:
- You dont want to send precious documents, like your original birth certificate, through the mail.
- You have questions surrounding Medicare.
- You live outside the US, in which case online enrollment isnt an option.
- You want to sign up for Part A, but you wish to postpone your Part B coverage . You can explain this better in person, and you want to make sure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s for delaying Part B coverage.
There may be other reasons why applying online may not be best for you. The point is, if your situation is complicated, perhaps its better to go with one of your other two options.