If you’re like many people, you may be very familiar with the terms “Medicare” and “Medicaid” but have no idea what the differences between the two programs are. After all, if you’ve never used either program, you probably have never really had much of a need to find out about them. Still, many people do know that both programs are government programs and that they have to do with health care, but that’s about the extent of their knowledge. That’s ok! As your healthcare experts in southeastern Wisconsin, we’re here to explain and answer any questions you might have.
First, we’d like to use this opportunity to briefly write about each program so that the reader can see the purpose of each program—especially if they will be enrolling in Medicare for the first time and don’t know much about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicare is a federally-sponsored program that works hand-in-hand with the federal Social Security Program. All U.S. citizens 65 years of age are eligible, regardless of income. In addition to being available to those 65 and older, it also does cover people under 65 with certain disabilities. The program consists of four different parts: A,B,C, and D. Part A is hospitalization coverage, Part B is medical insurance, Part C is supplemental insurance, and Part D is prescription drug coverage.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a joint federal and state program to help low-income families and individuals with medical costs. Unlike Medicare, the federal government only funds up to 50% of the cost of the program, with states covering the rest. Because each state is responsible for funding at least half of the cost of the program, coverage ranges broadly from state to state; however, there is a list of coverage items that is federally mandated and therefore the same in every state. Unlike Medicare, which is available to all U.S. Citizens over 65 years of age, Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements, and these requirements also vary from state to state.
While by no means exhaustive, we hope this brief article has at least given you some idea about Medicare and Medicaid. Many more resources are available online from your state government and the federal government if you are interested in learning more.
If you are 65 years or older and just for the first time exploring your coverage options, please don’t hesitate to call us today. We’re local Milwaukee experts in Medicare and would love to help you get the coverage you need.