Older adults in New York may be concerned about paying for rising medical costs. As people age, they naturally require more medical care and treatments. They may be on daily medications necessary to maintain their health. All of this can get quite costly. Luckily, through the federal and state governments, adults over the age of 65 can qualify for help. The two main options for healthcare coverage are Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicare is specifically for older adults. Medicaid is based on income. They are not the same program. Qualifying for Medicare is based on age and is paid for through taxes when a person works. Medicaid is a social program available to help those who have low incomes.
According to the New York State Department of Health, Medicaid offers free healthcare coverage for many services. However, seniors must meet specific guidelines to qualify for coverage under this program. In general, an adult will qualify by meeting the guidelines based on family size and income. For example, a couple over the age of 65 with nobody else living in the home can qualify if their monthly income is $1,209 or less or their annual income is $14,500 or less. Income guidelines are set by the federal government and updated each year.
There are exceptions to the general guidelines. Some people may still qualify even if they earn over the income limits if they meet certain criteria, such as being disabled or blind. Having high medical bills and receiving Supplemental Security Income may also allow a person to qualify with an income over the limit.
It is also important to note there is a resource limit for people over 65 as well that must also be met to qualify for Medicaid. For the example couple, this would be $21,750. Resources are considered along with income.
Medicaid can offer the chance to get services without copays. There are many covered services, such as long-term care and home care. Many inpatient and outpatient services are covered, too. Even Medicare premiums may be covered in certain situations. People who wish to apply can contact the Department of Health.