Medicare vs. Medicaid

Differences and similarities between Medicare and Medicaid

Healthcare is the prime matter of concern. This fact is even considered important by the government which lead in making legal provisions that support and provide the need of healthcare for its constituents. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act introduced by the U.S. federal government had made changes in the healthcare programs. Medicaid and Medicare are the most famous healthcare programs in United States.

Hardly anyone knows the difference between both the terms. Though, they are different in spelling actually, many persons end up mistaking one for the other.  The U.S. government supports both the Medicare and the Medicaid. Medicare is available to all American citizens above the age of 65 years old. It is a federal supported program associated with social security. Medicare covers almost all individuals who are disable and at the stage of End-Stage Renal disease (ESRD) which is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplant and also to persons who is affected by their income.

Hospitalization coverage, coverage for doctor services, preventive services such as check-ups and medical insurance are the four parts that builds Medicare. Medical insurance involves privately purchased insurance that act as additional coverage and also has additional features and services and also covers the cost of prescription drugs.

Health insurance is the program which is made for the people and most commonly it is paid up by the working individuals only whereas they form a part of work-force. The cost of Medicare benefits, including deductibles, co-insurance, co-payments alongwith paying premiums have to be shared by the working groups. If the low-income or limited resource persons are eligible for Medicaid then Medicaid may help them tackle their medical expenses if any.

Medicare program can be used by the people who are older than 65 years of age usually or checkups. In 2006, an additional feature was added to the program to help the people who do not able to face the rapidly growing medical costs. Medicare do not cover hearing aids and long-term care though it is said as providing complete coverage.

On the contrary, the program Medicaid is supported by both the federal and the state government. The aim of Medicaid is to aid the person from the low income groups who finds it difficult to cope up with the medical costs as well as other possible medical related expenses. Federal funding covers almost 50 percent of the Medicaid program for every state in the nation with poor states receiving more funds than the prosperous ones.

There is a set of requirements that has to be fulfilled by the individuals to be eligible for the Medicaid program in order to receive the benefits. Due to the states also funding in the scheme, the state has to say on these requirements. However, in 2010, the affordable care act introduced by the government has made certain provisions to expand the eligibility from 2014. The main purpose of the program is to help the poor which naturally helps the people those whose liquid assets do not go beyond few thousand dollars. Additional requirements are also made to assist the determined worthy groups such as children, pregnant woman, the elderly and disable peoples.

Also the Medicaid coverage differs from each state. Medicaid programs such as doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital care, home health care, transportation services and nursing home care are included in every programs. Mental health services for children are also included in the schemes.

No problems are created by the difference between the Medicare and the Medicaid with healthcare assistance made available for everyone. Although in various different ways, they are distinctive from each other but they work together with a common view of assisting Americans with their healthcare needs and concerns.

Difference between Medicare and Medicaid Summary

  • Health insurance program for all U.S citizens are considered as Medicare whereas Medicaid is the health coverage for low income group and disable peoples.
  • A joint program by state and federal government is Medicaid while Medicare is supported by the federal government. Though, there are variations in the eligibility and coverage for Medicaid from state to state.
  • The people who are still in the workforce have to share the cost of Medicare benefits while there is limited cost sharing of participants for Medicaid
  • Some services such as hearing aids and long term care are not covered by the Medicare. On the other hand, Medicaid aid covers almost all of the services that are not covered under Medicare aid.