Medicaid is a federal program funded by both the federal government and each state. The federal government sets forth guidelines which each state implements as it determines appropriate. The Medicaid rules are different in every state and, while there are many similarities from state to state, there are important differences as well. For example, one state might count an individual retirement account (IRA) as an asset for qualification purposes while a neighboring state may not. Medicaid can have different names depending on what state you live in. Massachusetts calls its Medicaid program “MassHealth.” California refers to its program as “Medi-Cal.” And so forth.

Medicaid is a need-based program; you have to meet asset and income limitations to qualify. Because of the name similarity, confusing Medicaid with the Medicare program is easy to do. While a bit of an oversimplification, think of Medicare as health insurance that you “bought” by paying Medicare taxes while you worked, and in the case of Medicare Part B, that you continue to pay for through a deduction from your monthly social security benefits. Think of Medicaid as nursing home insurance available only to those who meet asset and income limitations. You or a loved one may need Medicaid to pay for care whether in the home, in an assisted living-type facility, or, as is most common, in the nursing home.      

Additional Information on North Carolina Medicaid Assistance for Nursing Home Care:

Download a free copy of Jackie Bedard’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Paying for Nursing Home Care in North Carolina, to learn the nursing home and Medicaid secrets you need to know to avoid going broke in a nursing home and leaving your family penniless.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning