Healthcare coverage has been at the forefront of the political arena for some time now. Although we enjoy exceptional medical care in the United States, it isn’t cheap. For the uninsured, medical bills can be so high that they lead to bankruptcy. While having health insurance throughout your working years is important, having healthcare coverage during your senior years is even more important. Many seniors in the Quad Cities Illinois depend on Medicare for basic healthcare coverage; however, you may find that you need the benefits offered by the Medicaid program if you find yourself (or a spouse) in need of long-term care.
Both Medicare and Medicaid are federally funded programs, though individual states often supplement the Medicaid program in their state. Medicare is administered by the federal government and is available to everyone over the age of 65 who has paid into the program or who has a spouse who paid into the program during his/her working years. Medicaid, on the other hand, is administered at the state level and requires applicants to meet strict guidelines to be eligible for benefits.
Like Medicare, Medicaid in the Quad Cities Illinois typically covers healthcare related expenses such as doctor bills, hospital bills, and prescription costs. Unlike Medicare though, Medicaid will cover costs associated with long-term care. For older individuals this distinction is important. Many people make the mistake of assuming that Medicare will cover long-term care costs, only to find out when the time comes that it does not cover those costs. By the same token, most private health insurance policies do not pay for long-term care either. In fact, unless you purchased a separate long-term care insurance policy, chances are good that you will be forced to pay out of pocket for long-term care expenses unless you qualify for Medicaid.
Most states, including Illinois, have a number of distinct Medicaid programs that provide coverage for different groups of people. Pregnancy Medicaid, for example, has higher income and asset limits than other categories to ensure that all pregnant women receive good pre-natal care. The value of your assets could be a bar to qualifying for Medicaid if you find you need benefits at some point in the future. To ensure that your assets do not exceed the asset limit for Medicaid in the Quad Cities Illinois, consult with your estate planning attorney about including Medicaid planning into your overall estate plan.
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