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Medicare vs. Medicaid


What is Medicaid?

States offer a variety of Medicaid programs to reach different audiences. Some programs are designed for the elderly, others are designed for those who are disabled, and some are specifically tailored to low-income families. Depending on the program, participants will receive different benefits, and eligibility requirements will vary.


Medicaid vs. Medicare


While Medicaid and Medicare sound similar, and provide similar services, there is often a lot of confusion about how to tell the two programs apart.
All Americans aged 65 or older can enroll in Medicare, no matter their level of income or assets. Medicare is an optional health insurance program that is available to all senior citizens. However, Medicaid is a health insurance program that is specifically designed for individuals who have limited resources or income. Medicaid applicants' finances are closely scrutinized, as Medicaid has strict income and asset limits that must be adhered to.


In some cases, an individual may qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare simultaneously, meaning that they are dual eligible. Having access to both programs is beneficial because what one program won’t cover, the other will.


  • Medicare - Short-term care for up to 100 days, such as rehabilitation after illness or injury

  • Medicaid - Long-term care for indefinite periods of time, such as moving to a nursing or assisted living facility.

  • Medicare - Does not cover all out-of-pocket costs/co-pays.

  • Medicaid - Will often cover out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not.

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