Medicaid vs Medicare

What is the difference between Medicaid vs Medicare health insurances? Both of these terms are often confused and misused. But don’t worry, we will clear up the confusion of Medicare vs Medicaid. Here is a list of 10 differences in the Medicaid vs Medicare comparison. First, here is a quick description of each of these health insurance programs.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health insurance program for low income individuals and families. Regardless of age, you might be able to qualify. Each State runs their own Medicaid program. Since Medicaid is a State program, each State sets their own guidelines for eligibility. Historically, Medicaid programs have focused eligibility for kids and pregnant woman who are in a lower income household. However, many States have “Expanded Medicaid”, which allows for eligibility regardless of age or gender. Both State and Federal tax dollars fund Medicaid programs.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program for seniors and the disabled. Medicare is a federal program, so the coverage and eligibility is the same in all States. The eligibility age for Medicare is 65. For disabled individuals, eligibility can be at any age. The Social Security Administration manages the enrollment into Medicare and CMS (Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services) operates the program. Medicare helps provide health insurance coverage for segments of the population that would otherwise have a hard time getting it. Your federal tax dollars pay for the Medicare health insurance program.

Why Do People Confuse Medicaid vs Medicare?

The confusion of Medicaid vs Medicare is partly because the names of these programs are somewhat similar. Both are government programs for health insurance. A lot of people have never had either of these programs so they haven’t experienced them first hand, yet.

Medicaid vs Medicare Comparison


  • For low income households
  • Free in most situations
  • Ran by the State government
  • No options for coverages
  • Some States only allow it for kids and pregnant women


  • For seniors over 65 and disabled individuals
  • Not free, unless you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid
  • Ran by the Federal government
  • Ability to add Medicare Supplements to increase coverage
  • No income restrictions

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