How is Medicaid Different from Medicare?
The Federal government created both Medicaid and Medicare to assist some Americans with the high
cost of health care. Beyond the fact that both programs focus on providing health care, the two are
different in many ways.
Medicare is a program designed for Americans over the age of 65. You must enroll when you are
eligible, unless you still have health care coverage through your employer. If you do not enroll on time,
you may face a penalty fee. To be eligible for Medicare you must have paid enough into the program
through taxes taken from your paycheck.
Medicaid is health care insurance for many poverty level Americans. This program can be used for
anyone of any age and is especially focused on providing care to young children, pregnant women and
those with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income may also
be eligible for Medicaid.
Some people are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. This includes those over 65 with little or no
income. For them, Medicaid will help cover costs that Medicare leaves behind. Medicare may also be
available for those who receive Medicaid for disability, even if they have not reached age 65.
Medicaid coverage differs from one state to another, but it usually covers most or all costs of medical
care. There is no premium for Medicaid coverage.
Medicare covers some but not all costs of medical care for elderly citizens. For those who have
contributed enough to Medicare through taxes, Part A, hospital care is premium free. Coverage for Part
B-doctor care, Part C-Medicare Advantage, and Part D-prescription drug coverage require a monthly
premium or yearly deductibles.
Medicaid, although a federal program, is administered by each state. Each state must meet federal
guidelines regarding services but may also provide additional coverage via state government funds.
Medicare, which is run by the federal government, is funded by taxes collected from every working
Americans paycheck. Medicare Parts C and D, which are provided through private insurance companies,
may differ from one company to another, but must still meet federal Medicare coverage guidelines.
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