The Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid

Medicare Medicaid What Is The Difference?

I am asked this question many times each day so I have decided to write this post to provide a definition, summary and an overview of some benefits related to each program.


Medicare is a health insurance program for those 65 or older and those receiving Social Security Disability disability for 2 years or more. Some will also receive Medicare for certain medical conditions such as end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Medicare is administered by the FEDERAL Government.

Original Medicare is composed of Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (outpatient services). Anyone American citizen who has worked a combined total of at least 40 quarter in their lifetime and paid taxes is eligible for Medicare A with no premium. There is a premium for Part B. The Part B monthly premium is loosely based on your income bracket.  For specific  premium information please refer to the

Medicare And You 2011 Handbook


Medicaid  is a health insurance program for those who are considered low-income based on specific guidelines set forth by Federal, State and County agencies. Medicaid is funded by States and Counties as well as subsidies from the Federal Government. Medicaid is NOT Medicare and is administered at the COUNTY level. To apply for Medicaid you will want to visit your local Social Services office.

Dual Eligible Beneficiaries

There are some who may be eligible for both Medicare And Medicaid. If a beneficiary is eligible for both programs the term used is “dual eligible”. In these cases Medicare would be the primary payer. Dual eligible beneficiaries must re-certify with Social Services each year and report any changes or increases in income.

I will be adding more detailed information related to this topic in the very near future, however, you can find many guides, forms and publications by visiting or leave a comment and I will be happy to help.


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