What is Medicaid?

Many people confuse Medicaid and Medicare. But they’re not the same.

  • Medicare is the government health care program, chiefly for people 65 or older.
  • Medicaid is also a government program, but chiefly for individuals and families who otherwise cannot afford medical care at all.

There are additions and exceptions to both of those.

In Arizona, Medicaid is called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS … usually pronounced “Access”).

The effect of AHCCCS is that the state decides which doctors you can see and for what.

What happens with Long-Term Care benefits through AHCCCS is that you give the state permission to take over your medical decisions … to choose the type of care and the place that the care is given.

Usually these decisions are a lot different than the ones you would have made, if you could.

Andy Lockridge

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