Medicaid is an indigency program to pay for medical costs, and eligibility is based, among other things, on income and assets. This is not to be confused with Medicare, for which eligibility is earned through social security payments during one’s work life. The two are very different programs with very different eligibility rules. And to further complicate matters, some people may be eligible for both!
Medicaid is a Federal program, but each State has the flexibility to administer its respective Medicaid programs within its own guidelines, subject to some restrictions. Each state has its own Medicaid programs and eligibility in one state does not guarantee eligibility or the same services in another state. Furthermore, there are a variety of Medicaid programs and each program has its own eligibility guidelines and benefits. For example, someone who is receiving Supplement Security Income (SSI) automatically receives Medicaid for health care. However, if that same individual requires nursing home care, another Medicaid program provides that benefit.
It is imperative to know which program an individual is eligible for or under which s/he is receiving benefits, and it is imperative to evaluate the individual’s situation to determine which programs are appropriate for the individual to apply for benefits.
Seek competent legal advice from an attorney who focuses on and keeps up to date on the various available programs and eligibility criteria. Also, if an individual receiving SSI or Medicaid benefits receives a settlement or inheritance, it is imperative and extremely time-sensitive to obtain competent legal advice as to how the individual can maintain eligibility. A mistake can be costly.