How to Qualify for Both Medicare and Medicaid

Are you 65 now (happy birthday!), or will you be soon? If yes, you’ve probably had retirement on your mind, but don’t forget to leave a smidgeon of room for some thought about Medicare and Medicaid. It might be you! It’s one of the benefits for seniors over 65. You’ve probably heard of the programs before—the medical insurance program for people age 65+ and the state-run financial assistance program. Below we’ll briefly discuss the differences between these two programs and how you might be eligible for both. That’s right. Both.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

One of the most obvious differences between Medicare and Medicaid services has to do with management. Medicare is a program that is run and managed on a federal level, whereas Medicaid is managed by each individual state government, following some national federal guidelines. 

Though both programs provide health coverage, Medicare coverage is specifically for anyone aged 65 or older, as well as a few people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities or conditions. In addition, it has no income limits. The Medicaid program, however, is a needs-based program that provides health coverage for low-income or low-resource individuals and families. To qualify for Medicaid benefits, you have to prove that you are in need.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid for people with disabilities?

If you are disabled and under the age of 65, you can qualify for Medicare only after you’ve been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits from the Social Security Administration for at least a year. If you are disabled and want to join Medicaid enrollees, you’ll need to apply through the agency that handles your state’s applications. You’ll need to provide proof of income and assets, after which your application will be reviewed. 

What are the eligibility criteria for Medicare and Medicaid?

Determining who is eligible for Medicare and Medicaid can be a bit complicated, but below, we’ve tried to list it out in the simplest way possible. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. 

Medicare: Meet one or more of the following conditions.

  • Be 65+ years old 
  • Received SSDI benefits for at least a year
  • Have end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Have ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease)


  • Beneficiaries must live in the state through which Medicaid is offered (ex., You have to live in Texas to meet Medicaid eligibility in Texas)
  • Be at or below an income and asset limit.


  • Can be part of a separate government program (SSI or the breast and cervical cancer treatment and prevention program)
  • Be a young adult that’s a former foster care recipient

Be sure to look at your state’s eligibility requirements for Medicaid since income and asset limits differ in every state.

How can I apply for both Medicare and Medicaid?

If you think you qualify for dual eligibility or qualify to receive both Medicare and Medicaid coverage, then you’ll need to apply to both separately. First, the Medicare application can be accessed here. Then, you can either contact the state agency that handles Medicaid in your state to start an application or fill out an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

What documents must I provide to apply for Medicare and Medicaid?


  • Identification. Birth certificate, proof of citizenship (naturalization certificate, a certificate of citizenship, or a U.S. consular report of birth), or legal residency (green card, your admission-departure record) if applicable.
  • Military service before 1961. Record of your service (discharge papers).
  • Proof of Income. W-2 from the previous year, self-employment tax information from the previous year, and record of social security earnings (social security statement).

Medicaid: provide as many of the following as you have.

  • Identification. Birth certificate, proof of citizenship (naturalization certificate, a certificate of citizenship, or a U.S. consular report of birth), or legal residency (green card, your admission-departure record) if applicable.
  • Proof of income. A copy of any pay stubs, Social Security statements, and/or pension checks; income tax returns for the past five years; and verification of any other sources of income, for example, rental income or dividends. 
  • Bank records. Copies of bank statements for the past five years. 
  • Property. A copy of the deed to any property owned within the past five years and a copy of the most recent property tax bill. 
  • Retirement accounts. Statements for the past five years of retirement accounts. 
  • Insurance. Copies of any insurance policies, including health, life, and/or long-term care insurance.
  • Car registration. Registration information for any cars owned by you. 
  • Burial arrangements. Copies of any prepaid funeral contracts or deeds to burial plots.

What are the benefits of having both Medicare and Medicaid?

If you have both Medicare (federal health insurance) and Medicaid (needs-based assistance), plan on paying little to nothing for your health care. You may also receive help with necessities like in-home care, assisted living, or long term care facilities. If one program doesn’t cover an expense, the other one probably will. In terms of medical needs, Medicare supplement insurance will always be billed first, and anything not covered will then be paid through the Medicaid program(as long as it’s considered a qualified expense).


Can I enroll in Medicare and Medicaid with a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes. Medicaid and Medicare both allow people to enroll in the program regardless of their current or previous health conditions. Down the line, those who are eligible for Medicare part A and B (also known as Original Medicare) might be interested in purchasing a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as a gap policy, or a policy that helps cover costs that slip through Medicare’s cracks. Medicare and Medicaid do not consider pre-existing conditions when a person applies for coverage. Still, gap insurance policies often do, which may prove to be a barrier to getting a gap coverage policy.

What is the role of Medicare and Medicaid in covering prescription drugs?

Medicare is broken up into four parts: A, B, C, and D. Medicare part D helps cover portions or the entire cost of any prescription drug, though it’s common under Medicare to at least have a copay. Qualifying for Medicaid coverage in full means the entire cost of the prescription drug will be covered. Partial Medicaid coverage helps people set up a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which helps cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as premiums and copays.

Do Medicaid and Medicare work for end-of-life care?

Medicare covers little to no end-of-life care, but Medicaid supports limited at-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care. If you or a loved one is already a part of Medicare and needs end-of-life care, consider applying for Medicaid.

A Guide To OIF Veterans’ Benefits 

An OIF veteran is someone that has served in the U.S. military during the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) conflict. Read on to learn more about these veterans and their specific concerns. 

What is an OIF Veteran?

OIF veterans are enlisted military personnel that served in the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) campaign of 2003. The conflict resulted in the death of nearly 4,500 service personnel and injury to more than 31,000 others. 

Thousands of OIF veterans have been disabled or ill due to their participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Consequently, many are eligible to receive disabled veterans fits and services from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

What is the History of OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom)?

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began on March 19, 2003, in response to the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Iran. The primary objectives were to eliminate the Iraqi regime’s weapons of mass destruction, end Saddam Hussein’s reign, and instill an Iraqi-supported democratic government. 

The conflict ended after four days of ground fighting, and control over the capital of Baghdad was assumed after 21 days. Even so, the U.S.-led coalition struggled to secure peace in the region for years afterward. 

How Did the OIF Affect Veterans?

Many veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom experienced a range of physical and mental health issues due to their deployment in Iraq. Some of the most prevalent were diseases related to exposure or ingestion of particulate matter. Many of these can be traced to specific conditions and situations that occur in a military environment. 

Airborne Hazards

Some of the most debilitating conditions resulted from exposure to “airborne hazards .”These are defined as contaminants and toxic substances that OIF veterans breathe in from the air in contaminated environments. Unfortunately, many service members are thought to have been exposed to these hazards during OIF. 

The war presented many opportunities for service personnel to come in contact with airborne hazards. Open burn pits from which toxic fumes and smoke emanated were quite common. Exposure to sand and dust was also a constant factor, often for prolonged periods. 

Physical Effects

Breathing in smoke and fumes from open burn pits poses certain health `risks. The pits were typically used to burn waste products such as paints, chemicals, and even medical and human waste. As a result, those exposed frequently experienced irritation of the eyes and throat, coughing, difficulty breathing, and rashes or itching. 

Many of these issues cleared up without needing further treatment when the individual was removed from the affected area. But close contact with the contaminants, and long-term exposure, have resulted in chronic health problems.

Exposure to burn pits has also been linked to presumptive conditions such as brain, head, kidney, and gastrointestinal cancer. These and other conditions are presumed to have been caused by the toxic material and fine particulates emitted by open burn pits. 

Other common presumptive conditions include lymphoma and lymphatic cancers, post-service asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic rhinitis and sinusitis, and many other types of cancer. 

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Effects

Many veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom also experienced mental, emotional, and behavioral issues due to their deployment. These include depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, irrational rage and anger, antisocial impulses, and lethargy. 

Veterans commonly experienced difficulty returning to their normal lives and reestablishing relationships with friends and family members. It is common to lose interest in things or activities that have previously given them pleasure and satisfaction, including sex, family relationships, and hobbies. 

An alarming number of veterans suffered from chronic depression and even developed suicidal tendencies. Without proper treatment, many found it extremely difficult to resume their former place in society.  

Moral Injury

For many OIF veterans, the moral injuries caused by their military service were just as debilitating as the physical and mental injuries. In fact, moral injury was often the root of the physical and mental issues they suffered. 

“Moral injury” refers to a broad and varied range of emotional responses to traumatic and challenging events and circumstances. For OIF veterans, it often resulted from morally ambiguous situations that caused them to question the morality of their roles and actions. 

Many cases involved questioning long-held notions of “right” and “wrong” and having these overturned. This often leads to a severe existential crisis that makes the sufferer question why they were even alive and what purpose they served in the grand scheme of things. 

How Does the VA Support OIF Veterans?

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers a range of benefits and services to military personnel that have served in OIF and subsequently developed a disability or illness resulting from their deployment. OIF veteran benefits include compensation for medical problems that are presumably related to contaminant and particulate matter exposure.

What are the Common Challenges Faced by OIF Veterans?

Many OIF veterans experienced physical and mental health issues directly related to their deployment in Iraq. Post traumatic stress disorder is of course common. Moral injuries are also prevalent, which has resulted in severe physical and mental consequences and higher VA disability rates

As with veterans of many other conflicts, OIF veterans often struggle to find employment, reestablish personal relationships, and return to their roles as active and productive members of society. Trauma collected from combat exposure affects these veterans for a long time. For some, these challenges can last for years after leaving the service and may even remain for life if they do not get the appropriate help and all necessary mental health treatment. 

How can OIF Veterans Receive Support for Their Physical Injuries?

OIF veterans can file disability claims for injuries and health conditions they have incurred within ten years of leaving the military. If approved, they may receive VA health care and other health benefits to which they are entitled by merit of their service. Guidelines on filing disability claims are available on the Veteran Affairs website. 

VA healthcare provides disability compensation in monthly tax-free payments. Eligibility is dependent on three requirements: an illness or health condition resulting from air, soil, or water hazard exposure, previous active duty in a combat setting where such hazards were present, and an honorable discharge. 

What is the Rate of Suicide Among OIF Veterans?

A study conducted by Tim Bullman and Aaron Schneiderman sought to examine suicide risk among veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND). 

Among the 1,935,168 veterans involved in the study, 4,618 committed suicide. It was also revealed that higher suicide rates were found among those in active duty, as opposed to reserve and National Guard veterans. 

Higher suicide rates were also found among Caucasian personnel as opposed to non-white veterans. The same was true for both men and women veterans compared to officers. In general, more army and marine personnel committed suicide than navy and air force personnel. 

How can Families Support Their OIF Veteran Loved Ones?

Families of OIF veterans should recognize and acknowledge the difficulties that their loved ones may face as a result of their deployment. Caring, patience, and understanding are essential, as is a healthy and open flow of communication. 

Family members may also participate in programs designed to help them care for veterans with PTSD or mental illness. More information is available at You can also call the VA’s caregiver support line at 1 (855) 260-3274.

What Resources are Available for OIF Veterans to Access?

OIF veterans are encouraged to participate in the “Returning Support for Veterans Program” (RSVP). The program provides veterans and their families with information on benefits, education, health services, employment, and other concerns. 

RSVP can be reached by calling the CARE-LINE of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-662-7030. Interested parties may also send an email to [email protected].

Mental health services are available at the VA Palo Alto campus. Interested veterans may visit the site to make an appointment for a consultation. 

There is also a Veterans Crisis Line that can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255. Veterans may also receive assistance by calling the Santa Clara County Mental Health Assessment Line at 1-800-704-0900. 

What is the Rate of Homelessness Among OIF Veterans?

A cross-sectional study by the VA known as “VetPop 2007” revealed that there were 73,740 homeless veterans of the OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). This figure was derived from the 18,997,936 veterans that established contact with the VA homeless services from 2001 to 2007. 

Administrative data derived from the HCRV Program of the VA also revealed that there were 9,201 homeless among the 30,348 veterans incarcerated in state and federal prisons. Homelessness among incarcerated veterans is five times higher than that of the general population‒30% versus 6%.

How can Communities Support OIF Veterans?

Communities should provide easy access to therapeutic services, crisis hotlines, and other initiatives that promote the continuing care of OIF veterans. In addition, more efforts should be made to address returning veterans’ concerns concerning employment, physical and mental healthcare, and teaching them how to return to being active contributing members of society.

OEF Veteran – Benefits and Eligibility

The United State Government launched the OEF in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and primarily focused on combating terrorism in Afghanistan. OEF veterans played a vital role in the mission to dismantle terrorist networks, remove the Taliban from power, and support establishing a stable democratic government in Afghanistan.

As a result of their service and its impact on their health and well-being, OEF veterans may be eligible for various benefits, including healthcare, disability compensation, and even educational assistance.

These veterans face unique challenges related to their service, so it is important to recognize and support their contributions to the mission.

This post discusses some of the benefits an OEF veteran can receive.

What are the common experiences of OEF veterans?

Many OEF veterans experienced combat during their deployment, which may have involved exposure to gunfire, explosions, and other traumatic events.

OEF veterans may have been exposed to hazardous materials, such as burn pits, which could have long-term health effects.

The stress of being deployed in a combat zone for an extended time can also significantly impact mental health and well-being.

They may have sustained physical injuries during deployment, such as traumatic brain injuries, amputations, or other disabilities.

What are the common physical health conditions faced by OEF veterans?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): OEF veterans may have sustained a TBI due to exposure to blast waves from explosions, resulting in headaches, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

Hearing loss: Exposure to loud noises during combat can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, or other auditory problems are also some of the OEF health issues.

Musculoskeletal injuries: OEF veterans may have sustained injuries to their bones, joints, or muscles due to the physical demands of combat, leading to chronic pain or limited mobility.

Respiratory problems: Exposure to burning pits or other environmental hazards may cause respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Infectious diseases: OEF veterans may be infected with diseases while deployed, such as malaria, hepatitis, or tuberculosis.

What support and resources are available for OEF veterans?

The government provides support and resources for OEF veterans to help them transition back to civilian life and address their unique needs. Some of these resources include:

VA healthcare: OEF veterans are eligible for medical treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides various medical and mental health services to those eligible active service members.

Disability compensation: OEF veterans may be eligible for disability benefits through the VA for any injuries or illnesses related to their veterans service.

Education and job training: The VA provides education and job training programs, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, to help OEF veterans pursue higher education and job opportunities.

Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs): Many VSOs support and advocate for OEF veterans, such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Mental health services: OEF veterans can receive mental health services through the VA, including counseling and therapy, to help address issues such as PTSD and depression affected by active duty military service.

Career counseling and employment services: The VA and other organizations provide career counseling and employment services to help OEF veterans find and maintain employment after leaving the military.

Disability Benefits Available to OEF Vets

You may qualify for the following:

5-year free healthcare: starting from the discharge date, you may be eligible to receive five years of healthcare service at no cost.

180-day dental benefits: starting from the discharge date, this covers six months of full dental care to fix issues caused by the above service.

Vet center support: the VA may link you up with centers that can offer additional support to boost the quality of your life.

How does the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) help OEF veterans?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a wide range of services and VA disability rates to help OEF veterans with their healthcare, education, employment, and other needs. Some of the ways the VA helps OEF veterans are through:

Healthcare: OEF combat veterans are eligible for VA health care services and treatment, including medical and mental health services and access to specialized care for conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Disability compensation: OEF veterans who have suffered injuries or illnesses related to their service may be eligible for disability compensation from the VA healthcare program.

Education and training: The VA provides education and training benefits, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, to help OEF veterans pursue higher education or job training.

Home loans: The VA offers programs to help OEF veterans buy, build, or refinance homes.

Vocational rehabilitation and employment: The VA provides vocational and employment services to help OEF combat veterans find and maintain employment after leaving active service.

Survivor benefits: The VA benefits and services are provided to military families of OEF veterans who have died or were injured due to their military service.

What are the benefits available to OEF veterans under the GI bill?

Veterans service will qualify OEF veterans for education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The disabled veteran benefits under this program include the following:

Tuition and fees: The GI Bill pays up to 100% of tuition and fees for in-state students attending public colleges or universities and a specified cap for private or out-of-state schools.

Monthly housing allowance: OEF veterans who attend school full-time may be eligible for a tax-free monthly housing allowance based on the cost of living in their area.

Books and supplies stipend: The GI Bill provides a stipend of up to $1,000 per year to help cover the cost.

Transferability: OEF veterans who meet certain eligibility requirements can transfer their GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children.

Yellow Ribbon Program: The Yellow Ribbon Program can help cover the cost of tuition and fees that exceed the GI Bill cap for private or out-of-state schools.

Vocational training and apprenticeships: The GI Bill can pay for vocational training and apprenticeships in healthcare, technology, and aviation.