Medicare and Medicaid are two different, government-funded programs. Sometimes, people aren’t sure if they qualify for one, both, or neither of these programs. We can give you a clear idea of what both Medicare and Medicaid are and what they offer as well as a general picture of your likelihood of qualification for either one.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is the same as another type of insurance program you could purchase from a private insurance company. However, it is paid for by the money you paid out from your salary over the years. In most jobs, money for Medicare is taken straight from your paycheck. Medicare eligibility is also based on age. When you turns 65 and have been paying into Medicare during your working life, you will be eligible to receive Medicare.

Not all healthcare costs are paid for by Medicare as you will still have to pay deductibles and premiums. However, these can often be paid for through Medicare supplements, like Medigap or Medicare savings programs. People on Medicare also pay for non-hospital treatments through a monthly premium, which is usually very low.

What Is Medicaid?

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid isn’t an insurance program. Instead, it is an assistance program that helps low income individuals who would not otherwise have the ability to pay their healthcare costs. One does not have to be a certain age to be eligible for Medicaid, but there are other requirements.

For example, someone who is pregnant, disabled in some way, or a parent of a minor and in financial need will often qualify for Medicaid. There are also some circumstances where an individual does not need to meet these specific requirements to receive Medicaid. You can determine if you qualify for Medicaid on HealthCare.gov.

Can I Qualify for Both Medicare and Medicaid?

Yes, some people do actually qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. These are often individuals over the age of 65 who have certain disabilities and financial needs that allow them to qualify for both programs. Those who qualify for both are known as dual eligible.

Not everyone qualifies for one or both of these programs. Many people only qualify for one type of Medicaid or Medicare program. Therefore, it is very important to understand what each program entails. Your specific situation may allow you to qualify for certain Medicare policies and Medicaid programs.