Working in concert, the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs provide low cost and possibly no cost health insurance benefits for low-income seniors.

Medicare

Medicare provides extensive health insurance for most seniors, age 65 and older, plus other younger people with disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease. Medicare coverage includes Hospital Insurance (Part A), Medical Insurance (Part B) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).

You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. If you (or your spouse) did not pay Medicare taxes while you worked, and you are age 65 or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, Part A will not be premium free. However, you may be able to buy Part A if you have been qualified for Social Security or Railroad Retirement disability for 24 months, or if you are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.

Everyone on Medicare pays for Part B, if they want it.

Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the federal government under the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All things considered, it is a pretty good deal. However, for seniors living on a very low income, the coverage is far from sufficient. That is where Medicaid comes into the picture.

Medicaid

Medicaid helps people with limited income and assets pay for their health care expenses. The program is jointly funded by the federal and state governments. In Arizona, is administered by the Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

In combination with Medicare, Arizona Medicaid (or AHCCCS) helps qualified individuals pay for health insurance and out-of-pocket medical expenses including:

    • Doctor’s Visits
    • Immunizations (shots)
    • Lab and X-rays
    • Specialist Care
    • Hospital Services
    • Transportation to doctor
    • Emergency Care
    • Podiatry Services
    • Physical Exams
    • Behavioral Health
    • Dialysis
    • Emergency Dental

Dual Eligible Medicare

If you qualify for Medicaid, you may also qualify for dual eligible Medicare Advantage benefits. Dual eligibility can add Medicare Advantage benefits that may include help with vision, hearing aids, meals, transportation and over the counter as well as prescription health aids and medication.

Medicare Advantage Options

For income challenged seniors who are not dual eligible, and do not qualify for Medicaid (generally because their income is just a little too high), Medicare Advantage is an option worth considering.

Read more about Medicare Advantage.

Can ACCESSMed Help?

The Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs provide low cost and possibly no cost health insurance benefits for seniors. Our ACCESSMed staff and volunteers are ready and waiting to help you enroll.

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