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 Section 8 Housing in California

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8 Housing California, is a housing program designed to help every low-income household rent affordable housing. California implemented Senate Bill 329 at the beginning of 2020 to help address the housing crisis in the state. The bill also allows property owners to rent out low-income housing under the Section 8 voucher.

Do you need housing assistance, or are you a property owner who wants to maximize the HCV program? Here is a comprehensive guide to Section 8 Housing in California.

How Does the Section 8 Housing Program Work In California?

The Section 8 Program housing voucher is an income source that fights housing discrimination, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This income is also administered by any local public housing agency in California, providing low-income families with a safe and clean housing choice.

Voucher holders in San Diego, San Francisco, San Bernardino, or anywhere in California can get rental assistance for the following:

● Single-family houses

● Apartments

● Townhouses

Eligible California residents must find housing independently or through the state’s database of qualified housing. A housing specialist shall also inspect the unit to ensure it meets the safety and cleanliness guidelines. Once confirmed, the resident may sign a lease for a year or more.

Property owners who want to rent out for California Section 8 must also ensure that their house or apartment meets the regulations. For example, public housing or residences must be in good condition, and the landlord must sign an agreement with the program.

There are also Housing Choice vouchers from the Public Housing Authority for purchasing a family’s current residence. The California Public Housing Authority pays the landlord or property owner a subsidy on behalf of the buyer. Then, the latter must pay the remaining balance on the monthly rent and comply with additional program guidelines.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements For Section 8 In California?

The eligibility requirements for the HCV program are the following:

● Income Qualifications

● Family Status

● Disabilities

● Citizenship

● Criminal Record

● Eviction History

● Residence Status

The local housing authority considers the household’s annual income and size to determine payment standards.

How Can You Apply For Section 8 Housing In California?

Individuals applying for a Section 8 voucher should contact the local Public Housing Agency. The PHA can provide information on HUD projects and public works, and eligible residents may reach out to learn about the utility allowance, project-based vouchers, rental help, and more.

How Is the Section 8 Waiting List Determined In California?

The California Housing Authority Board uses waiting lists when the program runs out of funds. They are periodically open, and applicants may be added if no funds are available during application.

What Are the Responsibilities of Section 8 Tenants In California?

The responsibilities of tenants include the following:

● Reside in the rental unit.

● Pay the security deposit.

● Pay the rent balance on time.

● Report changes in income or family status.

● Keep the rental units free from crime and drugs.

● Comply with the lease terms.

● Grant the PH access for annual inspection.

● Avoid having guests for more than 14 consecutive days or 21 total days per year.

● Get approval for housemates.

Section 8 participants may be removed from the program if they fail to meet the above criteria.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Tenants In California?

The Fair Housing Act outlines that every tenant has the right to equal treatment. According to the law, landlords may not charge different rates, limit human services, or deny facility access to renters based on the following:

● Race

● Gender

● Ethnicity

● Religion

● Disability

● Sexual identity

● Sexual orientation

● Familial status

The Section 8 program aims to provide safe and sanitary housing to everyone qualified. If a landlord violates the Section 8 tenants’ rights, the participants may report online or to the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line at (800) 685-8470.

What Is the Maximum Amount a Section 8 Tenant Can Be Charged In California?

Voucher holders must pay up to 30% of their adjusted gross income for monthly rent and utilities. Should the PHA determine that the chosen unit exceeds the fair market standard, the voucher holder must make up the additional amount.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Landlords In California?

Landlords of Section 8 units can file a complaint if tenants violate the lease, engage in illegal activities, or neglect program responsibilities. Should the property owner suspect Section 8 fraud, they can fill out a HUD complaint intake form.

How Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Determined In California?

The local PHA determines the payment standard and calculates how much assistance a qualified applicant can receive from the program. Section 8 applicants qualify if their income is at most 50% of the national or city MFI. The program states that a PHA should distribute 75% of Section 8 funds to applicants, making the MFI less than 30%.

How Often Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Adjusted In California?

An average family has four members, as defined by the HUD, so adjustments depend on the family size. Additional adjustments may also be in areas with disproportionately high or low housing costs.

What Is the Role of the Local Housing Authority in California’s Section 8 Program?

The local Housing Authority (PHA) assists Section 8 applicants in finding rental units that accept Section 8 vouchers. They also determine the fair market rent for units, inspect them to ensure they meet standards, and offer related services.

What Are the Differences Between the Section 8 Program and Other Affordable Housing Options In California?

The HUD manages the Section 8 program, but unlike in public housing, every housing unit is owned by private landlords. Public housing is government-owned and operated, while Section 8 has property owners who accept Section 8 vouchers from the government.

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A Guide to Section 8 Housing in Arizona

The Arizona Public Housing Authority operates the Section 8 housing program to provide shelter for low-income households. This post answers essential questions about the program. Take a look.

What Is Section 8 Housing in Arizona?

Section 8 is a low-income housing program. The local public housing agency (PHA) oversees this administrative plan, providing three ways for income-eligible households to find affordable housing units. These three main programs include:

  1. Tenant-based Section 8: Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, people mostly refer to this when discussing Section 8. The Mesa Housing Authority administers it, and you would pay about 30% of your monthly income for rental subsidies in the private housing market. You can still use your Section 8 voucher if you move to another city or state with a PHA to service the voucher, such as New York.
  2. Project-based Section 8: This rental assistance Arizona program allows tenants to rent in a specific private building. These buildings have landlords who have agreed to reserve apartments in their rental property for low-income households.
  3. Section 8 Homeownership: Some PHAs offer this program to let you buy a home and meet its relevant expenses. Most households that qualify for this program have a disabled member.

How Does the Section 8 Housing Program Work in Arizona?

The PHA under the Phoenix housing department will determine eligible households from those that have applied for housing assistance. At the same time, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will administer PHA funds. The local PHA will then distribute housing choice vouchers to eligible families.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Section 8 in Arizona?

You must meet at least seven eligibility qualifications for this housing assistance option. Here are the standard Section 8 requirements:

  1. Income Qualifications: When you apply for Section 8 housing assistance in Arizona, your local housing authority will assess your household income and size. You must classify as having very low income to be part of the program. This classification requires that you earn up to 50% of your area’s median income.
  2. Family Status: General guidelines of a “family” include having at least one member over age 62, having a family member with a disability, having multiple members with or without children, or being a displaced household, a tenant from a household that obtained Section 8 assistance before, or a single person who meets none of these criteria.
  3. Disabilities: You would have priority if a member of your family is disabled. Be sure to provide medical evidence that the member in question lives with a disability. See the Arizona Center for Disability Law for more information on disabilities in the state.
  4. Citizenship: Everyone in your household must be a U.S. citizen or have proper documentation of approved immigration status.
  5. Criminal Record: Section 8 housing assistance requires low-income families to have no members with a history of criminal activity. Moreover, individuals convicted of making methamphetamines in public housing and registered sex offenders are prohibited from participating in the program.
  6. Eviction History: Your PHA will look into how well you abided by the tenant rules and regulations before qualifying you for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. They will then review your rent payment history and connect with your previous landlords.
  7. Residence Status: You must provide eligible documentation that you live within the jurisdiction of your PHA.

How Can I Apply for Section 8 Housing in Arizona?

You can apply for Section 8 housing in Arizona by visiting your local PHA. You may apply to more than one PHA, as there are agencies with long waiting lists. Upon successful application, your PHA can provide a list of locations where you can use your housing voucher.

How Is the Section 8 Waiting List Determined in Arizona?

The Arizona Section 8 waiting list usually depends on a lottery system that determines who is more in need of housing assistance. However, you may receive preference if you have a family member with a disability or is a veteran of the armed forces. In addition, PHAs prioritize households that live in their immediate area. Be sure to update your contact information in case a PHA connects with you.

What Are the Responsibilities of Section 8 Tenants in Arizona?

Section 8 tenants must follow the specific rules that their local PHA establishes, including:

  1. Live in the designated rental unit.
  2. Pay rent on time.
  3. Pay the security deposit.
  4. Report any changes in family status.
  5. Report any changes in income.
  6. Follow the terms of the lease.
  7. Don’t allow guests to stay for over 14 consecutive days.
  8. Request approval for new roommates.
  9. Allow PHA inspections.
  10. Avoid illegal activity.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Tenants in Arizona?

Section 8 tenants enjoy the rights of other tenants under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and the Fair Housing Act.

What Is the Maximum Amount a Section 8 Tenant Can Be Charged in Arizona?

Under the Section 8 program, landlords can charge up to 30% of a tenant’s adjusted household income.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Landlords in Arizona?

Section 8 landlords must also follow the rules that other landlords in the state must comply with, including providing a safe and sanitary home.

How Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Determined in Arizona?

How much a Section 8 tenant can get from their voucher will depend on the area’s fair market rent.

How Often Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Adjusted in Arizona?

The Section 8 voucher amount adjusts annually to consider increases in income due to employment.

What Is the Role of the Local Housing Authority in Arizona’s Section 8 Program?

The Arizona Housing Department’s PHAs oversee the Section 8 program at the local level.

What Are the Differences Between the Section 8 Program and Other Affordable Housing Options in Arizona?

What separates the Section 8 program from other affordable housing options in Arizona is the strict eligibility requirements for tenants. Generally, there is an income limit for those looking for subsidized housing options in this program.

Military Appreciation Month: Recognizing Important Holidays and Supporting Our Military

Military Appreciation Month

While most people look forward to Memorial Day as a way to honor and celebrate the sacrifice and service of our American armed forces, it’s important to remember that the entire month of May is dedicated to the members of our military.


May is Military Appreciation Month, officially designated by Congress in 1999. In addition to Memorial Day, the month of May includes several military holidays, such as Loyalty Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, VE Day, and Armed Forces Day.

Culminating on Memorial Day, the last Monday of May, Military Appreciation Month provides Americans with several opportunities to acknowledge the U.S. military’s historical sacrifices and efforts to protect democracy both at home and around the world.

Loyalty Day – May 1, 2021

Loyalty Day was first acknowledged in 1958 as a way to reaffirm loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom. While a lesser-known military holiday, it has been acknowledged by every U.S. president since 1958 and typically includes an official presidential proclamation. For 2021, Loyalty Day falls on May 1.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day – May 7, 2021

Military service members aren’t the only ones who make sacrifices to serve our country. Military spouses play an integral role in our nation’s full military system.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation to all military spouses. The Friday before Mother’s Day was originally recognized by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 as a special day to honor military spouses. Each sitting president typically issues a proclamation honoring military spouses on this day, and celebrations of military spouses are held on military bases all over the globe. In 2021, Military Spouse Appreciation Day falls on May 7.

VE Day – May 8, 2021

Victory in Europe (VE) Day marks the end of World War II on the European front. Celebrated on May 8 every year, VE Day has become a momentous and often emotional remembrance of the worldwide price paid to stop Adolf Hitler’s agenda.

Armed Forces Day – May 15, 2021

Armed Forces Day is celebrated each year on the third Saturday in May – in 2021, it falls on May 15. The occasion marks the unification of all branches of the armed forces under the Department of Defense. In 1949, Armed Forces Day replaced previous individual Army, Navy, and Air Force appreciation days.

Military Appreciation Day

Though not a formally recognized holiday, many areas take advantage of Military Appreciation Month to host a Military Appreciation Day within their communities. Dates for these celebrations often vary. Local communities may host parades, picnics, and other celebrations to recognize their local active duty, National Guard, reserve, and military Veterans.

Memorial Day – May 31, 2021

Military Appreciation Month ends with Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month. For 2021, Memorial Day is on May 31. This is the day set aside for recognizing and mourning the military lives lost in service to the United States armed forces. Originally conceived after the American Civil War, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Military Discounts Throughout May

In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, many retailers may offer special discounts to Veterans and active-duty members of the armed forces. From sporting goods and home improvement stores to entertainment venues like zoos and amusement parks, many national, regional, and local businesses use this month to show their appreciation for the service of our military.

May is a significant opportunity for American active-duty military members and Veterans. We hope you take advantage of all the benefits you deserve in recognition of your service. If you’d like to see what VA disability benefits you qualify for, call us at 888-988-3837 or click here to get started.