The Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid: A Basic Guide

You've probably heard the terms Medicare and Medicaid, but do you really know what they are? And do you know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

If you're in the market for health insurance and think Medicare or Medicaid might be right for you, it's time to learn the basics. Having the right health insurance will save you money and make your healthcare more accessible.

Don't leave your healthcare to chance! Read below for a simple guide to the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.

Population and Eligibility

Probably the biggest difference between Medicare vs Medicaid is the eligible population for each one.

Medicare is a health insurance system for people over the age of 65. An individual may also be eligible for Medicare if they are disabled. Eligibility for Medicare is based on age and has nothing to do with a person's income or financial situation.

Medicaid is designed to help people with limited or no income afford health insurance. A person is eligible for Medicaid if they fall below 133% of the federal poverty line. However, Medicaid eligibility does vary between states.

Organization

Medicare is organized into four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Each of these parts covers a different type or area of medical care.

Part A covers hospitalization. Part B covers equipment and services such as x-rays, lab tests, or a wheelchair.

Part C is supplemental insurance which covers dental, vision, and hearing. Part C is similar to a typical private insurance plan. Finally, Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. 

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid does not have different parts for different services. It is similar to a private insurance health plan that covers services like doctor's visits, hospitalization, and pediatric care.

Cost

The total cost of Medicare depends on the plan you choose. If you are ready to choose your Medicare plan, visit Medicarewise.com to find the plan that's perfect for you.

On Medicare you may be required to pay a monthly premium, meet a deductible, and pay copay or coinsurance costs.

The cost of Medicaid will depend on the state you live in. Some individuals with Medicaid do not pay anything out-of-pocket, but others pay premiums for their coverage. 

Generally speaking, both Medicare and Medicaid are intended to be affordable options for health insurance.

Enrollment

If you have contributed to social security you will probably be among those people that are automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B when you turn 65. If you are unsure about your eligibility but you wish to enroll, you can contact your local Social Security Office for more information.

To apply for Medicaid you can contact the Medicaid office in your state. You can also apply through the online health insurance marketplace.

The Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid Explained

By now you understand the main difference between Medicare and Medicaid. While both programs offer assistance to pay for medical care, they are designed for different populations.

You can visit the Medicare or Medicaid websites for more information and to help you determine your eligibility. 

If you are looking for more health information or great health-boosting products, take a look at what we have to offer on our site. 


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