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Difference between Medicare and Medicaid

HomeArea of LawDifference between Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are both healthcare programs of the government.

These programs were established in 1965 and are funded by tax. These two programs are often confused with each other because they have almost the same name.

There are people who can’t tell how the programs work and what they cover. Though they have the same meaning,

these are totally different programs with different coverage and eligibility requirements.

Generally, Medicare is for the long-term healthcare for elderly, while Medicaid is for the low-income individuals and families.


  • Medicare covers healthcare program under the federal government.
  • It is connected to Social Security and it is for U.S. citizens from 65 years old and above.
  • It can also cover the healthcare costs of people with disabilities.

    People can avail this program regardless of their income.

  • It has a four-part program that provides
    • hospitalization coverage,
    • medical insurance,
    • privately purchased insurance, and
    • prescription drug coverage.


Hospitalization coverage and medical insurance is paid through the payroll deductions for your Social Security.


 the privately purchased insurance and the prescription drug coverage will be paid through your own expense as a program participant.


The prescription drug coverage was added in 2006 due to the increasing demand for it since drug cost is becoming very expensive.


  • Medicaid, unlike Medicare is a joint program of the federal and the state government.
  • It aims to provide healthcare coverage for families and individuals with low-income.
    • The federal government will cover 50% of the costs covered by the state’s Medicaid.
  • The support given by the federal government will vary depending on the affluence of each state though.
  • The eligibility requirements of Medicaid are strict.
    • The requirements will depend by state.
    • But generally, one of the major requirements is that a family or an individual should have liquid assets less than a few thousand dollars to be part of the program.
  • There are only 50 Medicaid programs in the country, one for each state.

If you are still not sure which of the following healthcare program you should get, you can have legal consultation to get the appropriate coverage for your health costs.

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