Medicare, Medicare, Medicaid. We talk about it and hear about it, but it never seems like we’ve completely grasped what they are and what they do. So, let’s dive into some facts to understand what they are, what they do, and what the difference is between the two.
Medicare is a health insurance that is designed to help people who are either 65 years or older, or have certain disabilities even if they are under 65. People who have End-Stage Renal Disease of any age are also eligible for Medicare. Medicare helps cover inpatient care, hospice, nursing facilities, usually without a monthly premium. With standard monthly premium, Medicare also helps cover outpatient, home health, and services from doctors and health care providers. Medicare also contracts with private insurance companies to provide extra benefits, as well as help cover prescription drugs.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a joint program between the states and the federal government that helps cover medical care of people who have limited income. Medicaid may provide additional coverage that includes Long-Term Care and personal care. Eligibility for Medicaid depends on the particular state you live in, but can include requirements such as age over 65, children under 19, pregnant women, and disabled persons. Medicaid may cover primary care, in hospital care, preventative care, mental health services, pregnancy care, and medications.
It is also possible to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, which is called “dual eligibles.” For more information on qualifications and coverage, visit https://www.medicare.gov/ and http://medicaid.gov/.
- Mark Diamond, National Speaker and Senior Advocate