Medicaid assistance may be available for people with disabilities if they have a waiver or meet Medicaid's low income guidelines. An individual may want to have Medicare in addition to Medicaid because the combination can provide better access to care. Medicaid patients are usually seen only at public health clinics. Private practices would rather treat Medicare patients because of the higher reimbursement rate. This situation becomes even more extreme in adult health care and finding a private physician can be extremely difficult.
There are other benefits available to "dual eligibles" who are entitled to both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Medicaid can help pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and play a critical role filling in Medicare’s gaps in coverage. It can provide additional services and supplies that are available under the individual's state Medicaid program. Services that are covered by both programs will be paid first by Medicare and the difference by Medicaid, up to the state's payment limit. Medicaid can pay for nursing facility care beyond the 100 day limit covered by Medicare, prescription drugs and monthly premiums, eyeglasses and hearing aids. An individual may want to have Medicare in addition to Medicaid because the combination can provide better access to care. Because Medicare reimbursement is higher than Medicaid, more physicians will accept Medicare patients over Medicaid patients. Most physicians who treat adults accept Medicare but very few accept Medicaid. Medicaid would cover premiums and co-pays for Medicare.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services information and brochure on dual eligibility.