Medicaid is simply health coverage for low and moderate-income older people who are not able to afford it. Medicaid can be provided by the federal government, state offices, or non-governmental local organizations. Adult people who are 65 years of age or older and in financial crisis are mostly eligible for various Medicaid services. The main categories of these services are as follows:
- Part A: Beneficiaries of this Medicaid program will be receiving cash support for their medical and hospitalization expenses.
- Part B: Recipients of this Medicaid program will be paid for lab-ray services, physician services, necessary medical equipment, and more.
- Part C: This is a slightly special option for seniors who need a Medicare Advantage Plan such as PPO or HMO. This category is mostly provided by private companies to support older people who need health assistance.
- Part D: This is one of the most common categories that pay the costs of prescription drugs for low and moderate-income people in need.
Apart from these categories, there are various health programs and services for older people in need throughout the country. Some of these are as follows:
- Medicaid Waivers: These are also known as Home and Community Based Services Waivers. These programs are mostly created by the state offices according to the changing needs of the older population in each state. Hence, these health programs differ based on the state that you live in. The main goal of these state-funded Medicaid waivers is to assist older people with long-term care either at their homes or at nursing facilities. Some seniors may need long-term care and may not have someone to look after them or they may not be able to afford a caregiver. This is a highly beneficial option for elder people who need long-term care regardless of where they live. Since these programs get too much attention, it is better to apply as soon as possible.
- Cash and Counseling: This is a particular type of Medicaid service that is almost available in each state for seniors. This is a monetary aid and health counseling service for older people who are facing financial difficulties. Eligible candidates of this service will be receiving cash support for care or will be choosing their own care providers. These programs are also recognized as “consumer directed care” or “self directed care” since the recipient decides on it. Most people choose one of their family members as their caregivers. Especially if this person has already been living with the participant, it is also beneficial for reducing housing expenses. Thereby, if there is someone who already takes care of you, he or she also can be paid through these programs. This person can be your daughter, nephew, son, or spouse. Regardless of their kinship to you, they can be your paid caregiver.
- Health Insurance Premium Payment Program: Seniors who are eligible for any Medicare program can also be qualified for this program. This is a special more comprehensive health insurance program that is available in some states.
- Home and Community Based Care for the Elderly and Chronically III: Some older people may not wish to live in a nursing home. They may want to remain at their homes but still need housekeeping and health-related services. This program presents nursing home care quality at homes.
- Medicare Savings Program: This program provides discounts for people who are qualified for Medicare via the Social Security Administration. Seniors may receive monthly deductibles on their medical bills.
- Old Age Assistance: This benefit provides monetary help for people who are 65 years of age or over. The amount and type of assistance differ based on the applicant’s current economic and health situation. This cash assistance is supplemental, thus it is an extra help besides Medicare.
- Nursing Facility Cares: There are several nursing facilities in each state either sponsored by the federal and state governments or non-profit organizations. Seniors who are eligible for Medicare and need professional support in a nursing home are encouraged to apply for this benefit. Most of these facilities organize social and physical activity events, offer food support, and so on depending on the applicants’ case.
- The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): The scope of this care program for older people may differ from one state to another. However, its most common services are dentistry, emergency services, adult day care, home care, hospital care, meals, laboratory-x-ray services, nursing home care, medical specialty services, nutritional counseling, physical, recreational, or occupational therapy, prescription drugs, primary care, social services, social work counseling, transportation and more. Apart from these comprehensive services, eligible seniors can consult for their medical condition and the program may offer special treatment for their illness and cover the medical expenses.
How may I apply for Medicaid services in my state?
- There is an Area Agency on Aging division in each state. This can be a good start to find out what is out there for your health status. It is best to go through all health support programs in your region and get in touch with the staff. You can see these programs by tapping your zip code or state through this link https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/AAA.aspx or make a phone call at 1 800 677 1116.
- Another step might be to look into the Medicare State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs (SHIPs) in each state. You might have questions in your mind about the details of Medicaid. The officials of these programs are able to help you with your concerns. The counselors may guide you through these programs and find out which one is best for you. To talk to counselors, please visit the link https://www.medicare.gov/talk-to-someone or call 1 800 633 4227.