If I have Medicare Part B, will I still be eligible for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 20, 2016
Lynn ellen asked...

Can a person who is on Medicare part B with an annual income $14,400 become eligible for Medicaid? If so, can they still retain Medicare Part B benefits?

Expert Answers

Many people are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time. If someone is enrolled in both programs (what's known as being a "dual-eligible"), Medicaid pays many of the costs that Medicare leaves unpaid. This includes the Medicare Part B premium, as well as copayments for doctor visits and other medical services (though Medicaid sometimes charges a very small copayment of its own).

Whether someone with an annual income of $14,400 is eligible for Medicaid depends on the specific Medicaid rules of the state where he or she lives (these rules vary a little bit from state to state). In most states, an annual income of $14,400 would put someone just at the edge of Medicaid eligibility. But you should know that not all actual income is counted when Medicaid calculates income for eligibility purposes, so an actual income of $14,400 would probably wind up being counted as somewhat less when Medicaid considers the application. This means that eligibility for Medicaid is likely, in most states, for someone with that amount of actual income (if they otherwise qualify).

Be aware, though, that Medicaid eligibility depends not only on income but also on the amount of assets someone has. In most states, a single individual can have only $2,000 in assets (in addition to the value of a house they live in and a car, which are not counted) to qualify for Medicaid. If someone's income would qualify them for Medicaid but their assets are too high, they can become eligible for Medicaid coverage of medical care if and when they spend enough of their assets to get down to the $2,000 level.