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Caring for aging parents: understanding Medicaid and Medicare

Caring for aging parents: understanding Medicaid and Medicare

August 15, 2022

As your parents grow older, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the federal government’s safety-net insurance programs.

One of the biggest distinctions to know about is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid:

  • Medicare becomes most people’s primary healthcare provider once they reach age 65.
  • Medicaid is a program for people who have low income and need financial assistance.

Medicare provides hospitalization insurance, outpatient treatment care, and a prescription drugs plan, as well as hospice care. In a much more restricted way, it also pays for home healthcare assistance and, after certain types of hospital care, nursing home assistance. Many people use supplemental health insurance to help cover Medicare deductibles.

Medicaid provides for long-term care as well as disability income and has eligibility requirements. If your parents might qualify for Medicaid, you may want to look into eligibility in your state.

Making sure your parents receive all of the government healthcare insurance they’re entitled to is an important element of caregiving. It can also help to limit the amount of financial assistance you may need to provide.

Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to talk further about Medicare and Medicaid. And if you know of friends or family members who might want to receive these educational emails, just forward their email addresses to get them added to the distribution list.