Medicare and Medicaid Basics

Medicare and Medicaid

We are all familiar with the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or at least we should be. This article will help you to understand the basics of these two federal healthcare insurance programs, including how they operate and how they affect you as a consumer.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a social insurance program for people 65 years of age or older and certain younger people with disabilities. Medicare provides health care coverage, including hospitalization, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. If you have other insurance that covers most of your medical costs, you may be eligible for Medicaid if your income is less than about $900 per month for an individual or about $1,800 per month for a family.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a federal health insurance program that provides healthcare for low-income individuals and families. It was originally enacted in 1965 as Title XIX of the Social Security Act. Medicaid was expanded to provide coverage for adults with disabilities in 1972 and children with disabilities in 1975, under Title XXI of the Social Security Act.

How does it work?

Medicare and Medicaid are both social insurance programs. The two work together to help people who don’t have enough money to pay for certain medical treatments get the care they need. To be eligible, you must meet certain requirements based on your age. Medicare will cover some of your costs and Medicaid will help pay for a portion of them as well as some long-term care costs. Each program has its own eligibility requirements, so make sure to contact each one individually.

Medicare and Medicaid

Does Medicare and Medicaid cover everything?

Medicare and Medicaid are both insurance products for people with low income. While they have a lot of similarities, there are also a few important differences between them. Medicare will cover preventive care and most medical expenses, but it does not cover long-term care or prescription drugs unless you have an extra type of plan called a Medigap policy. Medicaid is even more limited than Medicare in that it only covers medical expenses for the poor and some basic health-related services.

How can I get a plan under Medicare or Medicaid?

Most people are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid if they qualify through their state. You can qualify if you’re age 65, or you can get a plan under the guaranteed issue provisions. Eligible individuals might also be able to get a plan under other terms, such as one with limited benefits that doesn’t cover everything.


In this blog post, we have covered an overview of Medicare and Medicaid in a way that is easy to understand. The information that was provided is more beneficial than what you might find in most other sources.