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Medicare vs Medicaid: What is the difference?

Medicare and Medicaid are both government run.

Medicare enrollment form

However, they are funded by different parties and serve different groups.


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What is the difference?

Medicare and Medicaid are often confused because they have similar names. Even though both programs are government run, they are funded by different parties and serve different groups.

Medicare provides health coverage for people over 65. However, some younger people become eligible because of a disability. It covers a  variety of medical services to 57 million people.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals who qualify based on state laws.

Some people qualify for both programs– they will work together to provide health coverage and reduce the costs. It is estimated that 11 million people are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

What about cost?

Both Medicare and Medicaid have premiums and might also have deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. The price for Medicare depends on when they enroll and what coverage options they choose and what services they use during the year.

The Medicaid price depends on income and state-specific rules. Some groups that qualify for Medicaid are exempt form out of pocket costs.

To get Medicare benefits you must enroll in Social Security.

To see if you qualify for Medicaid you’ll need to start the enrollment process and then contact your state’s medical assistance office.


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