3 common misconceptions of Medicaid

Medicaid is a vital safety net in the United States. Approximately 74 million Americans receive health benefits through the program. This includes people with disabilities, senior citizens and children. 

There is a good probability either you or someone you love relies on Medicaid. Therefore, it helps to separate fact from fiction. It is natural some myths have popped up because it is an extremely difficult field to understand. However, here are some of the most common misconceptions that persist regarding Medicaid. 

Myth #1: Medicaid is the same as Medicare

Perhaps this myth is due to the fact both programs sound similar, but Medicare is not a substitute for Medicaid. Medicare pays for health coverage for people over the age of 65 and people under the age of 65 who have disabilities. Medicare does not cover long-term care. Some people will require both Medicare and Medicaid. 

Myth #2: Medicaid is a national program

It is critical to understand Medicaid is not set up exclusively by the federal government. The federal government does share in part of the costs, but by and large, Medicaid is set up by each of the states. This is important if you have an elderly parent in a different state than the one you live in. You need to figure out the rules set forth by each of your states to ensure no one loses coverage. 

Myth #3: Everyone qualifies for Medicaid

There are many differences between Medicaid and Medicare. For starters, Medicare becomes available to practically everyone once they turn 65. However, the same does not hold true for Medicaid. The person receiving Medicaid needs to meet specific criteria, such as being unable to perform basic tasks such as bathing or dressing oneself. Additionally, the person needs to have a low amount in his or her savings account. Most people receiving Medicaid only have about $2,000 in savings. Medicaid is a safety net meant for the most vulnerable in society. 

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