Health

What government programs are available specifically for senior citizens?

What government programs are available specifically for senior citizens?

Are you a senior citizen interested to find out government programs that are specifically for you? Are you a caregiver and looking after an older relative or another older person? Taking care of an aging loved one can come with challenges, but it is fulfilling and rewarding in so many ways. t is however important to realize that you don’t have to do it entirely by yourself.

The government has many programs designed to assist the elderly, and is constantly in the process of refining these to better suit the population. The United States’ National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities is the embodiment of the nation’s most visionary leadership on supporting older adults and those with disabilities. There are many options available, though here is a cursory view of government programs specifically available for senior citizens.

Medicare

There is a federal state-sponsored medical insurance that covers older adults from ages 65 and above as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities—Medicare. It has several parts that cover distinct medical areas.

For example, it has Hospital Insurance which can supplement inpatient hospital stays as well as care in skilled nursing facilities. It also covers hospice care and certain home health care, though there are certain restrictions and qualifications to that coverage. The best thing about this is that most older adults and others who qualify for Medicare don’t have to pay for this plan as it is provided free of charge.

Medicare has another form of service folded into it, Medical Insurance. This pays for a number of doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and some preventive services as well. You also don’t have to shoulder all the expenses for prescribed drugs as Medicare has Prescription Drug Coverage available.

The Medicare plans are varied in cost as well as coverage in services and specific drugs, including both branded and generic options. What you can trust is that each is up to the standard set by Medicare.

Medicaid

One of the largest payers for health care in the United States, Medicaid is a national program that offers state-based coverage services. Specifically, it provides health coverage to those belonging to the low-income group that was signed into law along with Medicare in 1965.

Each state has its own variation of the program, however, each must abide by the mandatory list of benefits. In addition to inpatient and outpatient hospital services, nursing facility services, and home health; Medicaid also covers expenses for physicians, rural health clinics, and federally qualified health center services. It even covers services pertinent to laboratory and x-ray, family planning, nurse-midwife, and more.

Medicaid also has a list of optional services available, among these the following are covered: prescription drugs, physical and occupational therapy, and services on speech, hearing and language disorder, respiratory care, and optometry.

Through this program, states are allowed and encouraged to provide alternative benefit plan coverages that better suit their constituents. These alternative plans range from having requirement benchmarks and delivery systems that are different from the traditional Medicaid benefit plan.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Older adults with limited income and resources can absolutely benefit from the Supplemental Security Income program. This program is varied in that it covers adults above the age of 65 with or without disability, as well as younger individuals with disabilities.

The Supplement Security Income program disperses monthly funds or cash assistance for its beneficiaries. These funds are designed enough to cover their food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs.

Qualifying beneficiaries must belong to the low-income group, are older, blind, or disabled; and in certain states, must be a qualified bonafide resident.

Perhaps one of the best features of this program is that a lot of the states often add to the basic Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and this allows an increase for eligibility based on income as well as the amount of cash assistance to be given. Of course, this varies depending from state to state so definitely do your research.

So you see, although taking care of an older loved one may come with unique challenges, the government tries to make it easier for you by offering Medicare, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is important to realize that you are not alone, and be assured that there are many great programs designed to help those that need them.

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