Impacts of Medicare and Medicaid

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As we become older, issues with our health begin to take affect and finding ways to fund for that care is becoming even more difficult. In the article “Some Elders Must Take Drastic Measures to Obtain Long-term Care”, national magazine journalist Mary A. Fischer (2011) states that many Americans must face demeaning and disempowering choices in order to qualify for Medicaid or Medicare—federal funded health insurance programs— such as refusing to pay for a spouses institutionalization, divorce, and spending down assets. The author argues that these choices leave the healthy spouse with decreased funds to plan for their own retirement expense (Fisher, 2011). Working in the health care field for 4 years, along with my family’s own personal experiences I can relate to this article, since I have seen a variety of ways that federal funded health insurances have been unable to meet the expectations and demands of its beneficiaries.
Consequently, to qualify for Medicaid, which is designed for beneficiaries with low income, one must receive a monthly income below the average poverty level, which is around $2,000 per month and have no cash assets, in order for Medicaid to cover long-term care facilities. When applicants spend down his or her assets, Medicaid will look at any “financial gifts” made within the past 5 years; this could result in the denial of benefits depending on the number of months the gift could have paid for a long-term care facility (Fischer, 2011).
Medicare, was

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