Medicare vs Medicaid: What’s the Difference Anyway?

Medicare vs Medicaid: What's the Difference Anyway?

Figuring out your own healthcare situation can be one of the more complicated things you might have to do as an adult. The United States healthcare system is notoriously difficult to figure out. In fact, many Americans feel as if they don’t have a proper understanding of their own insurance setup.

One common mistake people make when first getting familiar with healthcare is misunderstanding Medicare vs Medicaid. While the two programs have very similar names, they are two very different programs.

What do you need to know about the Medicare vs Medicaid difference? Read on, and we’ll walk you through the major points.

What Is Medicare?

When someone speaks about Medicare, they are referring to a federal health program designed for United States citizens that are over 65 years of age. The program is in place to help senior individuals who may have trouble covering the various expenses related to their own medical care.

There are many eligibility requirements one must meet to apply and get Medicare benefits. Also, Medicare generally covers both inpatient and outpatient medical services.

To be eligible for Medicare support, a person must have spent at least a decent amount of time paying into the program during their working years.

Medicare requires small monthly premiums and may require deductible payments by those who use the program. However, Medicare is generally much more affordable than other health plans from private insurers.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid, much like Medicare, is a federal healthcare support program. However, it isn’t in place to support seniors. It’s there to support those whose income does not allow them access to proper healthcare.

People of every age are eligible to enroll in Medicaid as long as they meet the low-income eligibility requirements. In some instances, there are no premiums and deductibles at all — it all depends on the kind of medical care requested.

States are often more in control of their Medicaid programs. This means that the rules regarding Medicaid coverage will vary from location to location. New York, for example, has a much more generous system set up than other states.

These state programs follow general guidelines set down by the federal government. Qualifications, therefore, will vary from state to state as well. It’s important to understand these qualifications when applying.

When it comes to Medicare vs Medicaid, understanding is generally as simple as understanding who the intended audience for the program is.

Medicare vs Medicaid

Part of being a responsible adult in this country is being on top of your healthcare needs. Doing so will require getting familiar with the similarities and differences between Medicare vs Medicaid. The programs both protect people with different health needs, but the eligibility requirements differ quite greatly.

The information in this post can help you distinguish between the two programs.

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