medicare vs medicaid

Medicare vs. Medicaid: What are the Differences?

Medicare and Medicaid are two social insurance programs that are specifically run in the United States, but there are major differences between them.

The two can get pretty mixed up on the ground of their common “support” status, but it is important to understand the facilities each program is willing to offer in order to formulate a full understanding of your social rights.

Those government-run programs were initially part of President Lynden Johnson’s “vision” of society; they were created as he signed amendments to the Social Security Act back in 1965.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) manage both Medicare and Medicaid programs alike. The aim of such programs is to financially aid older, disabled, and low-income people in a “shared-burdens” environment.


What is Medicare?

medicare vs medicaid

As we’ve mentioned before, medicare is a government-run social insurance program (the federal government program), and it manifests means of support (health insurance) for certain citizens of the US.

The thing about medicare is that it exclusively covers people over 65 years old and people with specific disabilities (regardless of age). Usually, patients who receive Social Security Disability Insurance or have End-stage renal disorder are entitled to Medicare services.

Most importantly, this program does not depend on a person’s income; given your asserted medical state, it offers insurance regardless of your financial situation. Once within the medicare circle, you are able to enroll in one of the following: Original Medicare or the Medicare Advantage Plan.

The difference is that Original Medicare is offered from the federal government directly and covers a significant number of doctors and hospitals in the country whereas the Advantage plan is a sort of private insurance given by companies contracting with Medicare.

The Advantage Plan CAN be a bit disadvantageous, however, as it narrows down the list of doctors and hospitals covered. Medicare is funded by medicare taxes and social security, the government, and through premiums.

Key Differences Between HMO And PPO


What is Medicaid?

differences between medicare and medicaid

Medicaid is also run by the government but in partnership with states. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid depends wholly on individuals’ income; it is focused on providing health insurance for people with low incomes regardless of their age/medical specifics. There are, of course, followed criteria which entitle a person for Medicaid.

Medicaid is funded by the government and states, and it varies from state to state; each state is free to impose its own set of standards by which Medicaid is valid. The state is also prone to impose deductibles and coinsurance (or copayment) on certain beneficiaries for some medical services.

Contrary to the common belief, Health Insurance programs don’t exactly pay people or support them directly, but they work in partnership with programs that pay health care providers instead (doctors, clinics, hospitals, committees, etc.)


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Medicare Vs. Medicaid – The Comparison Table

Check out the differences between Medicare and Medicaid in this comparison table.



Medicare is a government-run social program. Medicaid is also run by the government but in partnership with states.
It is available for people over 65 years of age and disabled individuals regardless of income. It is available for all low-income individuals that fall under certain criteria.
It is funded in part by the government, by Medicare taxes and Social Security, and premiums paid by people enrolled. Is funded by the government and states.
Covers pretty much all doctors and hospitals. It is generally limited when it comes to coverage.


It’s really important to further search up the details for both Medicare and Medicaid so you can form a well-rounded perception regarding your Health Insurance program of choice.

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