There are so many different terms when it comes to government funded insurance and supplements that you must be wondering how to sort them out. For example, have you ever wondered what the difference is between Medicare and Medicaid? These two terms are extremely similar, and you may be thinking that they refer to essentially the same thing, but they are not. These are two different government funded coverages. In order for you to know if you qualify for one of them, then you need to know the difference between the two. Here is how Medicare and Medicaid stack up against each other – Learn more here, at Medicaid.gov.
Medicaid is considered a type of emergency coverage that is available to certain people who are in specific situations. Think of it as a government funded insurance that comes to the aid of certain people. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you must be considered low income based on the levels mandated by your state. You must also be in one of the following situations.
- A child under the age of 19 in a low income household
- A person who is over the age of 65 and is considered low income
- A person who is low income and blind
- A person who is low income and disabled permanently
- A person who is low income and in need of a nursing home
In order to receive Medicaid, you will have to visit your local Medicaid office and fill out an application.
Many states have expanded coverage, particularly for children, above the federal minimums. For many eligibility groups, income is calculated in relation to a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For example, 100% of the FPL for a family of four is $22,350 in 2011. The Federal Poverty Level is updated annually. For other groups, income standards are based on income or other non-financial criteria standards for other programs, such as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program – learn more about eligibility here.
Medicare, on the other hand, is an insurance policy that is designed primarily for senior citizens, but it is also available to people of another age in a specific case. Medicare, unlike Medicaid, is a long term service. Here is what is required of you in order to receive Most Medicare benefits.
- A person who is over the age of 65
- A person with long term kidney failure, no matter their age
- A person of any age who is permanently disabled to the point that they cannot work
- In order to receive Medicare, you will need to go to your local Social Security office and apply.
As you can see, there is a big difference between Medicare and Medicaid. It is vital that you know which one you qualify for so that you can apply for the right thing. Both are insurance coverages offered by the federal government, but they cover different types of people and situations.