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Get to the bottom of these common Medicaid myths.

There are many things people don’t understand when it comes to Medicaid. This state and federally funded program offers health insurance: from doctor’s visits to hospital stays, it can offer healthcare to those who might not be able to get it otherwise.

Let’s take a look at four of the most common myths, so you can understand what Medicaid has to offer.

Myth 1: Medicaid is healthcare coverage for people who don’t work

This might be the most common misunderstanding about Medicaid. But more than half of people who receive Medicaid are working.

Medicaid was first designed to give coverage to those who can’t or don’t work, like people living with certain disabilities. Today, it’s available to anyone who meets specific qualifications, even if they're employed.

Myth 2: I have Medicare, so I don’t need Medicaid

While Medicare provides health coverage for people after they turn 65, Medicare often doesn’t cover long-term care or assisted living expenses.

“This is where Medicaid can help, so you don’t end up paying the (often high) cost of long-term care,” says Terry Carpenter, director of government programs at Geisinger Health Plan.

Myth 3: I can’t qualify for Medicaid if I own a home

In most states, homes are not considered when reviewing Medicaid qualifications if one spouse lives in the home and the other lives in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.

But if both partners live in their home, the house is often not exempt. “It can depend on which state you live in, so ask your county help office which rules apply to you," says Carpenter. "This way, you're prepared when it comes time to apply for Medicaid."

Myth 4: I need to transfer assets to qualify

The truth? Transferring your assets (or giving your valuables, including your home or money) to another person or a group can keep you from getting approved for Medicaid.

“There is now a five-year look-back period with Medicaid,” says Carpenter. “Medicaid will look back five years to see if you made any transfers for less than fair-market value. If there are any, they’ll get added back into your net worth and may impact your eligibility.”

What if you have made any transfer of assets within the five-year period? You may enter a penalty period where you have to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. You might even face other penalties, which could include fines or jail.

“That’s why it’s so important to work with a Medicaid customer service team,” says Carpenter. “They can help when you’re planning for your health insurance and future care options.”

GHP Family Medicaid plans made for you

Medicaid rules can seem complicated. But, with the help of an expert, you can make sure you have everything in line to qualify for this program. Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) Family offers health insurance and perks, like health and wellness programs, to help you put your health first.

Interested in learning more? The GHP Family customer service team is standing by to answer your questions. Call us for more information at 855-227-1302.

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