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
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.