The public health system seems to be in a constant state of flux. It is always a hot topic of political debate, and as such, the requirements and coverage areas frequently change. Below is a basic overview of Medicare and Medicaid laws.

Medicare

Put simply, Medicare is a government insurance program for the elderly and disabled. To qualify for Medicare you must:

  • Be over 65 and eligible for social security or railroad retirement; or
  • Be disabled and have received social security or railroad retirement for at least two years; or
  • Be over 65 and pay for Medicare coverage.

Like health insurance, Medicare has deductibles and co-payments. Medicare has several different plans available so you should chose the one that suits your needs best.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare pays for a large number of medical services, including:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Some long-term care facility stays
  • Doctor visits
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Ambulance transport
  • Medical supplies

But Medicare does not cover everything. For example, Medicare does not cover:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Eye and physical examinations
  • Dental Services
  • Immunizations
  • Cosmetic Surgery

Medicaid

Medicaid is a health-care program financed by both the state and federal governments. While Medicaid eligibility is different in each state, it's typically available to:

  • The disabled
  • The impoverished elderly
  • Families with children

Medicaid Coverage

Depending on the state, Medicaid coverage may include:

  • Hospital Services
  • Prescription Drugs
  • X-rays and Lab Tests
  • Some long term care facilities
  • Dental needs
  • Optometrist visits
  • Rehabilitative services

Do I Need an Attorney?

Medicare and Medicaid are both very helpful programs, but the laws that govern them are complex. To confuse matters more, Medicaid laws are different in every state. Having a personal injury lawyer familiar with a government law help you get coverage can make your life easier. A lawyer will know which laws apply in your state and how to deal with government agencies.