Many people have heard of both Medicare and Medicaid government programs, but some of us don’t have a firm understanding of what each is and/or how they differ. Both programs provide health coverage to Americans, however Medicare is an insurance program while Medicaid is an assistance program.

Medicare basics
Medicare is an insurance program primarily for older Americans. Individuals pay into the Medicare system during their years of employment (much like they contribute to Social Security) and once they turn the age of 65, they can enroll in the program. Medicare is also available to people under 65 with certain disabilities or with end-stage kidney disease.

Medicare is administered by the federal government. It features several parts and you can enroll in one or more of these parts. Some parts of Medicare may be premium-free, while others will cost a monthly premium.

Medicaid basics
Medicaid is meant to serve those with limited income. This program is state-based, but must follow federal guidelines. It’s available to those of any age who qualify, including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Many Americans are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

Eligibility requirements for Medicaid vary by state, and it is best to check with your state Medicaid office (or website) for enrollment information.

If you would like more information, please contact us at 941-405-3900.

Leave a comment