There is a lot of confusion between Medicare and Medicaid, and though they are both government sponsored healthcare plans, there are some major differences between the two.
Medicaid – This plan is sponsored by the federal government and is intended to provide assistance to those with a low-income. If you have a financial need, Medicaid will cover you, even if you are over the age of 65. Many seniors that are low income will have Medicaid in conjunction with Medicare, simply because it covers many expenses that Medicare will not, such as eye glasses, preventative care, and prescriptions. Medicaid will also cover Medicare premiums and the 20% co-pay that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medicare – Unlike Medicaid, there are no income restrictions to qualify for Medicare; each person has already paid for this program through their employment taxes, or self-employment taxes. There are age restrictions due to the fact that the purpose of this program is to address the increased need for medical care for seniors, as well as their decrease in income.
To qualify for Medicare you must be at least 65 years old or have a qualifying disability. Unlike Medicaid, which is overseen by individual states, the federal government administers this medical coverage program. To obtain information about Medicare you need to contact the Social Security Administration.
Medicare is administered in three parts: Part A for hospital insurance; part B for routine doctor appointments and lab tests, plus in some cases it will pay for medical equipment; and with part C you get some coverage for prescription medications. The premiums and out of pocket cost for this coverage can be high, though not what you would pay with a private healthcare insurance.
If you are having problems covering the cost of your medical expenses, despite qualifying for Medicare, you might want to find out if you will also qualify for Medicaid. Those that qualify for both programs can save a great deal of money on the cost of their healthcare.
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