What is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?Medicare and Medicaid are two separate, government-run programs created in 1965 to address the fact older and lower-income Americans, respectively, found it difficult to afford private health insurance.

These programs spread the financial burdens of illness across healthy and ill individuals and affluent and lower-income families.

Medicare generally provides health coverage if you are 65 and older or have a severe disability, regardless of your income. On the other hand, Medicaid is a state and federal program providing health coverage to those with low incomes.

Some people are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. This is known as dual eligibility.

Covered services and cost-sharing differ between the programs. Make sure to call 1-800-MEDICARE or contact your local Medicaid office to learn more about Medicare and Medicaid costs and coverage, especially if you are eligible for both.

Learn About: How Many Different Parts of Medicare?
Read About: What is Medicare Part A?
Return to: Medicare Basics

YourMedicare.com takes pride in providing you as much information as possible concerning your Medicare options, but only a health insurance broker licensed to sell Medicare can help you compare your plan options from various insurance companies. When you’re ready, we recommend you discuss your needs with a YourMedicare.com Licensed Sales Agent.