Medicare Vs. Medicaid: What are The Differences?
September 8, 2014
With similar sounding names and over-lapping purposes these two systems can be a little confusing; daunting even. It is essential to note that both are available to legal residents of the US who are over 65 years of age and can cover many aspects of continuing care for the elderly. In fact, in some cases you or your loved one may even qualify for both. First thing to know is that Medicare is a federal program, and Medicaid is managed by individual states. Here are some specifics about the differences from the government's own medicare website.
Medicare: Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities,and any age with permanent kidney failure (called "End-Stage Renal Disease"). You must have entered the United States lawfully and have lived here for 5 years to be eligible for Medicare."
Medicaid: "Medicaid is health insurance available to certain people and families who have limited income and resources. The rules for counting your income and resources (like bank accounts or other items that can be sold for cash) usually depend on which state you live in. Eligibility may also depend on how old you are and whether you are pregnant,whether you are blind or have other disabilities, and whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted immigrant…"
Additionally, "People with Medicaid may also get coverage for services such as nursing home care. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services. If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, most of your health care costs will be covered."
For further information on Medicare (and to get the number for your state's Medicaid office) Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. For more info online, visit www.medicare.gov