Medicaid

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Medicaid is a joint federal and state government program that helps low-income retirees cover health care expenses.

Though you must be 65 years old or older, the income requirements for eligibility for Medicaid for retirees vary from state to state. Your income and resources must fall below the guidelines for your state. Your Social Security payments, pension, payment from jobs and other money paid to you is considered your income. Resources are things you own -- like savings. However, the value of your home and car are not counted when considering your eligibility for Medicaid.

People with middle incomes may get Medicaid if their medical bills are very high. Then Medicaid asks you to pay some of the bills and it will pay the rest. This is called a "spend down" to be eligible for Medicaid.

Medicaid covers most basic health services and many costs not covered by Medicare like prescription drugs, nursing home care, eye exams, glasses, and more. Medicaid may also help to pay for Medicare costs.

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