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Medicare vs Medicaid – What You Need to Know

You have definitely heard about how important health insurance is, but have you actually gotten it? There’s a high chance that you have not, since a whopping 40 million Americans have no health care to cover them.

However, since you’re reading this article, you are definitely interested in getting health insurance.

Some common words that you might have heard before are Medicare and Medicaid, but what do they actually mean? To help you learn the differences between the two and more about health insurance, here’s everything you need to know.

What Medicare Is


Medicare is a government health insurance program that is targeted at seniors who are aged 65 and older. However, younger people who have certain disabilities are qualified to get Medicare as well as people with end stage renal disease, a form of kidney failure.

Medicare is actually not just one health plan. In fact there are many parts of Medicare that cover specific aspects of health care. We’ll make a quick summary of that later on to help you get a better idea.

Medicare, in particular Medicare Part A, is pretty much mandatory to anyone who is 65 and older and reaps their Social Security benefits. Since it is free, it shouldn’t be an issue.

People who don’t want to enroll but get their social security benefits must repay for not enrolling in Medicare part A. However since it is free, there is definitely no harm in enrolling.

People qualify for this once they’ve worked for more than 10 years, are 65 and above, and get their social security benefits.

There are many parts of Medicare that make up different aspects of health care. Whilst most would benefit from getting all of them, some people might actually only need one or two. Here’s a quick rundown of the various parts of Medicare.

Medicare Part A is for hospital related aspects, such as hospital stays and hospice care, but it is typically limited to a certain number of days. Medicare Part B deals with things that are considered non hospital services.

This can cover several things, such as X-rays, check ups, etc. You will have to pay for deductibles for a period of time until you can actually get the benefits, but once you get them, you get to enjoy only paying for 20% of the bill from any participating Medicare doctor.

Part C is referred to as Medicare Advantage since it combines almost all the plans into one, which is why it is the most recommended part to get. However, you must find a private insurance company to offer this part to you.

Medicare Part D is all about prescription drugs. It can help you cover some of the expenses for specific prescription drugs.

Keep in mind that many of these parts are actually not free unless you are eligible, like seniors are. These parts require you to pay a premium fee to be able to enroll for them.

Thankfully, premium is a small price to pay for all the savings that you could have. Imagine paying for an entire hospital bill out of your own pocket. With Medicare Part B for instance, you can save 80% on each trip that you make to the doctor.

What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is another program that’s provided by the government. What makes it different from Medicare is that it targets low income households.

They assist people with lower incomes with medical bills that many Americans are struggling with. To qualify for Medicaid, you have to meet the requirements.

Some of these requirements involve meeting their income standards and assets as well.

Initially, this was a program that was meant to help those who were unable to get traditional jobs or would have a significantly harder time working.

For instance, those who were blind, single parent families, disabled people, etc. As time went by, Medicaid has expanded to help more people, for instance families where both parents are unemployed may qualified for Medicaid.

They may even cover the family for up to a year once one of the parents get a job.

Keep in mind that you really have to fit the specific criteria to be eligible for Medicaid. You must also be a citizen or a permanent resident of the US to qualify.

Typically, the actual coverage of Medicaid may vary, but they are a good option for many low income households who are struggling with health care.

They can save money or potentially get covered for hospital bills can mean a great deal and help them out a lot financially.

Surprisingly, you could actually have both if you wanted to, given that you fit the criteria for both.

Together, Medicare and Medicaid can work together and give you health care at a very low cost, which is always a great option to have.

You should carefully research the criteria for both to see if you can take advantage of them.

But Why Do I Need Health Care Anyway?

Many Americans tend to neglect health care for two reasons. The first reason is that they think that they are expensive, which is obviously the opposite of what health insurance is trying to provide.

Health insurance is a small investment that you make by paying premiums and in turn you’ll save a lot in the long run.

If you visit a doctor for a check up that normally costs $100 and you visit the doctor four times a year, that racks up to about $400. Let’s say that the premium fee for you to get Medicare Part B is $100.

Let’s you pay only for 20% of the bill for any Medicare doctor whom you work with, you’ll only be paying $80 for the four hospital trips in total. If you include the premium fee that you paid, then that is $180.

You are still able to save $220, thanks to that small investment which already doubled your savings.

The second very common reason why many Americans don’t get health insurance is because they believe that they are not sick.

While this is true, health insurance tends to cover a lot of other aspects of health care than just the people who are already sick. For instance, many people use their health insurance plans for preventative services.

Preventing a problem and knowing how to avoid certain illnesses will allow you to save money by avoiding those problems in the future.

Additionally, it could also cover certain aspects that could be considered preventative or management. For example, those with diabetes could help manage their condition and take advantage of their health insurance and what it has to offer them.

You can get free consultations with a doctor depending on your health insurance plan and learn how you can manage or get better.

Keep in mind that you may not be sick or in pain at the moment, but you never know what the future could hold. You could get into an accident, hurt yourself while cooking, or just get sick.

You will want to be prepared for any instance that may face you in the future, so put your health first and save money at the same time by getting the health insurance that you need.

So Should I Choose Medicare or Medicaid?

You cannot really say that one is better than the other, because each part of Medicare and the plan of Medicaid are all made for a specific purpose and for people in specific scenarios.

We would highly advise you to check out their websites to see what their exact criteria are and what offers there are.

If you have a low income household, or are a single parent, you might benefit much more from Medicaid.

People who are seniors and disabled might rather prefer Medicare for their needs. However, there are many other health insurance options other than these two that you can look into if you aren’t quite too sure on what you should get.

However if you are taking a look at Medicare, we highly urge you to get Medicare Advantage, or Part C, to get the most benefits for the smallest price since it is an all-around health insurance plan.

Whether you are a young adult, a parent, or a senior, you should always look into getting health insurance and make sure you have the best plan possible.

This will allow you to be healthy and avoid falling into medical debt if anything were to happen. Remember, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.

Find the right health insurance plan, and invest in health insurance today.