Anyone who begins looking into long-term care options will quickly run into the terms Medicare, Medicaid and Medi-Cal. Many people are confused but these are three different programs. In today’s post, Let’s do our best to give you a basic overview of the three different programs.
Let’s talk about the three M’s. The Medicare, Medicaid and Medi-Cal.
So these terms are used a lot for seniors because they are the medical services that you receive once you reach age 65. But there is a ton of confusion around them. And unfortunately the names are so close to each other, that people often interchange them and use them alternately when their very different programs.
Let’s start with a few definitions to kind of clarify things for folks.
The first is, what is Medicare?
(Medicare) is probably the most common government benefit that seniors are able to take advantage of next to Social Security. What it is, is it’s the medical coverage for seniors over the age of 65. So, it covers doctor visits. It covers prescriptions. It covers hospital stays and to a certain extent it will cover some long term care or some skilled nursing stay if you’re rehabilitating from a surgery. But it is the most common and you often get it when you’re 65. That means you stop having to pay private health coverage premiums. And it’s the most common program out there. It is very different from Medicaid.
Medicaid is a federal and state medical program for seniors that allows for payment if that person is age and disabled and they qualify, asset wise or financially, for this service. It’s a form of welfare. You apply for Medicaid at the wealth your local county welfare office. And it will provide for the majority of the costs of a stay in a skilled nursing facility. It also provides for in-home care if you qualify. For in-home caregivers to come in if you have a long term illness. And in some states it will cover assisted living – not in California.
The final M, Medi-Cal.
And that is California’s version of Medicaid. So again, it’s administered through the welfare department in your county. So that’s where you would apply. That’s you know, you would get assigned a social worker. And those are where the services would derive from. It is a different program in California as it’s different in every other state. In California the qualification requirements are different than any other state.
If You’re Googling Medicaid and Medi-Cal, you’re going to get some mixed information. So, the recommendation is if any of you need Medicaid or Medi-Cal, you should contact an experienced attorney who works in this area. Because, the rules and regulations are very complicated and it is risky to go it alone.
That is the difference between Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal. This might have confused you even more, don’t know. But always, when push comes to shove and you need to get information.
Don’t google it, give a an experienced attorney call or visit.