The Basics of Medicare vs. Medicaid

The world of health insurance seems to get more confusing every day. Medicare and Medicaid are health care programs that have been run by the federal and state governments for many years, but many people are still unclear about the differences between the two. Put as simply as possible, the major differences lie in how a beneficiary qualifies for the program and which government entity runs the program.

Medicare Basics

Medicare is an insurance program that is designed to provide health care benefits for individuals who are 65 or older or who have met qualifications for disability coverage. The program is funded via trust funds that are supplied through Medicare taxes. There are no financial or asset requirements for beneficiaries to qualify for Medicare. As long as the individual has worked and paid Medicare taxes or is married to someone who has, they are eligible for premium free Medicare Part A coverage. However, certain co-insurances and deductibles do apply to the beneficiaries.

Medicaid Basics

The Medicare program is based on need, which means income and asset levels are considered when determining if an individual is eligible for it. Medicaid is funded through federal, state and local tax monies. While Medicaid is monitored by the federal government, each state is responsible for running the program within its borders. For that reason, guidelines regarding eligibility and benefits vary widely from state to state. Generally, the Medicaid program is designed to meet the health care needs of qualified individuals, such as children, pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly. However, the Affordable Care Act has also opened up Medicaid eligibility to adults under 65 in some states if they meet certain income requirements.

If you believe you might be eligible for one or both of these programs, contact us today to discuss your situation and all options to which you and your family have access.

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