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The extraordinary cost of health care for senior citizens makes it important for elder law attorneys to be able to explain the basic coverage of Medicare and Medicaid. These programs frequently require cost sharing on the part of the patient. At the beginning of each year the amounts charged under these two programs are recalibrated. These figures are critical in making calculations of the amounts patients in hospitals and in nursing homes are obligated to pay. The numbers also determine when coverage ends. Included here are the most commonly referred to figures and a brief explanation of their importance for hospital and nursing home care.

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