What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

The terms Medicaid and Medicare are commonly confused. If you have the two programs confused do not feel bad, as you are not alone. Think of Medicare as the benefit paid by the US Government in the form of providing you health insurance, once you turn age 65.  Just Google the term and there is more than sufficient information on what it means to keep you awake (or put you to sleep) for a long time.  Medicare is an entitlement, which means you get it whether you are very rich or very poor.


The tricky part about Medicare is sorting through the coverage it provides (the part A, B and D are seemingly the most important).  When Medicare kicks in, for most individuals at age 65) you will likely want to supplement your coverage with a Medicare Supplement policy and there are many different flavors and picking the right one will likely require you get advice from someone familiar with the different policy types.  It has been said there are 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day,which might explain why the number of products are numerous.


Now as for Medicaid, it is designed to help poor folks (tongue in cheek) as it is eligibility based.  It can provide a wide variety of services for those who qualify to assist with the payment of medical bills including portions of the cost to stay in an assisted or skilled care facility. We have much written on this in the Special Report section of our website so head on over there (you can find it here) and do some reading.