Search Articles

Find Attorneys

Dual Eligibility: How Qualifying for Both Medicare and Medicaid Can Help With Costs

  • June 24th, 2021

Qualifying for Medicare hardly means free health care -- there are still premiums and deductibles. However, people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (called “dual eligibility”) receive help paying their out-of-pocket costs. 

Medicare is a federal program available to anyone 65 or older. It consists of four major parts, each of which have premiums and co-pays associated with them: 

  • Part A covers hospital stays and some limited nursing home stays
  • Part B covers office visits, physician fees, medical equipment, home care, and preventative services
  • Part C (called Medicare Advantage) permits Medicare beneficiaries to receive Part A and B benefits from private insurance companies
  • Part D covers prescription medications

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health insurance to low-income adults, children, and people with disabilities. It is also the primary method of paying for nursing home care. To qualify for coverage, applicants must have limited assets and income.  

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

To be considered dually eligible, beneficiaries can be enrolled in either Medicare and full Medicaid or in Medicare and one of Medicaid’s Medicare Savings Programs. Medicare Savings Programs are state programs, run through Medicaid, that provide help paying for Medicare premiums. When Medicare and Medicaid coverage overlap, Medicare always pays for the services first. If Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost, then Medicaid may cover the remaining cost. Medicaid may also cover some costs that Medicare does not cover, like long-term nursing home care. 

The benefits available to dual eligible beneficiaries depend on which Medicaid program the beneficiary is enrolled in: 

  • Full Medicaid. Beneficiaries receive full Medicaid coverage. Because Medicaid is a state-run program, additional benefits can vary by state. Some states may pay Medicare’s Part B premiums. In addition, beneficiaries do not have to pay more than the amount allowed under the state’s Medicaid program for services by Medicare providers. 
  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program. Beneficiaries receive help paying Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
  • Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program: Beneficiaries receive help paying Part B premiums.
  • Qualifying Individual (QI) Program: Beneficiaries receive help paying Part B premiums but help is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Qualified Disabled Working Individual (QDWI) Program. Pays Part A premiums for certain disabled and working beneficiaries under 65 who meet certain income and resource limits set by their state. 

 


Last Modified: 06/24/2021
Learn the secrets of estate planning from an expert
ADVERTISEMENT
Medicaid 101
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
Medicaid Planning Strategies

Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.

READ MORE
Estate Recovery: Can Medicaid Take My House After I’m Gone?

If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

READ MORE
Help Qualifying and Paying for Medicaid, Or Avoiding Nursing Home Care

There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.

READ MORE
Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Care?

Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can't afford to take care of themselves.

READ MORE
Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

READ MORE
Alternatives to Medicaid

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.

READ MORE
ElderLaw 101
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Long-Term Care Insurance

Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.

READ MORE
Medicare

Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.

READ MORE
Retirement Planning

We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.

READ MORE
Senior Living

Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.

READ MORE
Social Security

Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

READ MORE
Special Needs Planning

Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.

READ MORE
Veterans Benefits

Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

READ MORE