Any lawyer who anticipates a practice that includes Elder Law, Poverty Law, Health Law or Insurance Law needs to have a fundamental understanding of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Over 48 million individuals are currently enrolled in Medicare; over 40 million individuals are currently enrolled in Medicaid; and over 10 million are enrolled in both. For individuals 65 years and older, the costs of accessing health care and prescription medications represent, on average, more than 20% of their gross annual income. Beyond that, Medicare and Medicaid are significant national institutions that account for large percentages of federal and states resources. The continued scope and capacity of these programs represent fundamental issues in the national political debate.
This course is designed to provide law students with an understanding of the Medicare and Medicaid programs and the practical skills for using this information to serve their clients. We will examine the purpose and design of Medicare and Medicaid; the Medicare and Medicaid vocabulary; and the criteria for eligibility and enrollment in these programs.