Medicare vs Medicaid

What’s the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare vs Medicaid: What’s the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Many people have questions about Medicare and Medicaid including the question of what the differences are between the programs. There are some major differences between the two.

Medicare vs Medicaid

Medicare vs Medicaid - Medicare is the Federal health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older and for certain disabled Americans. If you are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits and are age 65, you and your spouse automatically qualify for Medicare. Use the links on this page for additional updated information.

Medicare is funded by the federal government as an entitlement program, which mainly focuses on the older population. It is a social insurance program for individuals age 65 and over and it covers many individuals with disabilities. Medicare also covers individuals of all ages with end stage renal disease.

There are several parts to Medicare. Part A covers hospital bills, Part B covers medical insurance and Part D covers prescriptions.

Medicaid is different from Medicare in several ways. It is also an entitlement program, however, Medicaid is not funded only by federal government, there is a state component as well, and in some states, counties pay part of the cost.

Medicaid is based on need and social welfare, with eligibility based on income. If a person has limited income and/or financial resources, Medicaid covers a broader spectrum of services than Medicare does. It usually covers children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Though poverty is used to determine eligibility, a person must fall into one of the coverage groups in addition to being determined eligible due to being in poverty. Medicaid benefits are paid directly to the provider of services. In addition to covering individuals who meet financial requirements, in some states Medicaid covers individuals who cannot otherwise afford insurance.

Some individuals qualify for coverage by both programs.

Medicare vs Medicaid
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