The differences between Medicare and Medicaid
When we explain the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, we have to start with the fact that these are two very different programs.
Both programs provide an important service to the group that it serves. Each of these programs receives funding and is run by different parts of the government.
What is Medicare:
The Medicare program is federal health insurance. It is available to eligible people 65 or older as well as certain individuals under 65 who have certain disabilities. Medicare is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency.
The CMS sets standards for the coverage Medicare programs provide as well as controlling the costs. In other words, people who are on Original Medicare will receive the same standard of coverage, it does not matter which state they reside in.
All payments for Medicare costs come from the two trust funds the U.S. Treasury holds. The trust funds receive money through payroll taxes and other funds authorized by congress. Medicare beneficiaries also pay part of the cost for Medicare coverage by paying monthly premiums, deductibles and co-insurance for medical and prescription drug coverage.
What is Medicaid:
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps cover medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Although each state is in charge of its own program, the federal government sets the rules that all state Medicaid programs have to abide by. Every state decides on the requirement for the eligibility of its citizens therefore, income levels and other requirements vary from state to state.
There are several benefits that Medicaid provides that Medicare does not cover. Some of these benefits include some nursing home care and personal care services. In most cases, Medicaid recipients don’t pay for covered medical expenses but may owe a small co-payment for some items or services.
To sum it up:
- Medicare is a program put in place by the federal government to provide health coverage for individuals 65 and over as well as qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Medicaid is a program that is provided by both state and federal governments for qualified individuals who have limited income and little financial means.
Some individuals qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. These people are referred to dual eligibles. These programs can work together to ensure qualified beneficiaries receive the health care they need. A licensed Medicare agent may be able to direct you to getting extra help when you need it. You can also contact your local social services office for more information on available extra help.