Both Medicaid and Medicare are federally funded programs, but there are several differences between the two organizations.

            Medicaid is organized differently from state to state. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid covers people with a low-income of any age who cannot afford regular health care. But Medicare is not an insurance program; it is an assistance program that will help cover doctor visits, hospital stays, or other needs like the cost of eye glasses. Although Medicaid often charges a small fee for the services it provides, the system will pay Medicare deductibles and bills that Medicare will not cover.

            Medicare is a government program that is organized the same way in each state. Medicare is an insurance program, unlike Medicaid. Senior citizens who have paid into the system for 40+ years and are eligible for retirement can receive Medicare with the exception of younger people who collect disability. Medicare will cover hospital bills, doctor’s fees, lab costs, outpatient care, and prescription drugs. With Medicare, there will be a deductible fee for long stays in the hospital. A person insured by Medicare will also have to pay for at least 20% of their medical bills, along with a monthly premium. There is a gap in the coverage offered by Medicare for prescription drug costs that exceed $2,840. Medicare will not cover drugs after the $2,840 limit is reached, but if the total cost for drugs reaches or exceeds $4,550, Medicare will begin covering the expenses. Once the deductible is met, patients are required to pay 25% of their drug costs.

            A senior citizen can have both Medicaid and Medicare, but the requirements are different for each organization. Just because one is eligible to receive Medicare, does not mean they can also receive Medicaid and vise versa.

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