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cover every expense, neither will your private plan. Plus, you may have your spouse or other dependents on your private plan. Their coverage will be affected by any decision you make regarding your own coverage. It’s very important to not cancel any coverage before your Medicare coverage begins.

If your health coverage comes from a Department of Defense program, your coverage will change, or possibly end, once you are eligible for Medicare. By contacting either the Defense Department or a military health benefits advisor, you will know how to proceed and whether you should enroll in Medicare Part B. For those people with health coverage from the Indian Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, or a state medical assistance program, you will need to contact those offices to determine if enrolling in Medicare would be beneficial to you or not.


We really can’t go into much depth when talking about Medicaid because it is a state-run program, and therefore, the rules are differ- ent in each state. Medicaid offers public assistance with health care for those who can’t afford it on their own. It’s a welfare health care system. To determine if you are eligible for Medicaid, you will have to contact your state’s Medicaid office. Medicaid is financed by both the federal government, as well as state governments.

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid will pay for extended care in a skilled nursing care facility and other services. There is typically no copayment or deductibles that the covered person would have to pay, either. Those people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically eligible for Medicaid. SSI is a federal pro- gram that guarantees a minimum monthly income to those 65 and older who are blind or disabled and have limited income and assets.

There are many rules surrounding Medicaid, of which the “spend down rule” is the most well-known. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you must spend down your assets until they are under a specified limit. You must also not have a large monthly income, but again, these limits are all set by the individual states. There are cases where people will qualify for Medicaid even though their

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