Medicare versus Medicaid: Here’s what you need to know

Medicare open enrollment period ends Dec. 7

The Medicare open enrollment period is underway, and if you have questions about Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Rowland Reyna, founder of HealthTexas, has some answers for you.

1) What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare is a federally funded plan that provides health care benefits to people who qualify through age or disability.

Medicaid is a state-funded plan that provides health care benefits to individuals who qualify through income level. There are different levels of Medicaid assistance, depending on income level.

2) How do you become Medicare eligible?

You or your spouse has worked 40 “credits” (approximately 10 years) and are at least 65 years of age or been disabled for 24 consecutive months.

3) Why should someone on Medicare join a Medicare Advantage Plan?

With a Medicare Advantage Plan, the patient overall care is coordinated and overseen by a primary care doctor. Communication is much better as an entire health care team is working together on behalf of the patient.

Medicare Advantage Plans offer preventive health care benefits along with additional value-added services such as health club memberships and transportation assistance to appointments.

For more information, visit healthtexas.org or call 210-731-HTMG.

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