Understanding Medicare And Medicaid DifferencesMedicare and Medicaid have some things in common but they are very different programs. They are both large US government health insurance programs. Some people are actually eligible for both programs. However, Medicare and Medicaid differences end there. It really amazes me because a lot of people discuss these two big federal programs without really understanding which one is which!
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health program for senior citizens and disabled people. Workers contribute to this program during their working lives. A small premium is taken out of many beneficiary's social security check to pay for Medicare Part B. Qualification for this program depends upon age and having enough working time to contribute. Qualification does not have anything to do with income.
What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal health program for people with low incomes and few assets. Qualification varies by state since this is a joint state and federal program. Qualification rules may also be different for children or pregnant women.
Some seniors and disabled people may have low incomes and few assets, and they may qualify for both programs. These people are considered dual-eligible.
Why Is The Difference Important?
It is important to understand the difference between these two programs if you want to make political choices, or in case you need benefits.