Understanding Medical Problems

Healthcare For Seniors: Medicaid Vs. Medicare

If you are getting older and considering switching your medical insurance to Medicaid or Medicare, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two. While they may sound similar, they have their own pros and cons. If you want to know more about Medicaid and Medicare, check out how they differ from each other.

Member Requirements

Medicaid doesn't always have an age limit. Seniors and younger individuals may qualify for Medicaid. Instead, the requirement is based on your income and assets. You must have a low income and little to no assets to qualify. However, when you pass away, Medicaid may be able to recoup some of their money if you do have any assets, such as a car or home.

It's much easier for seniors to qualify for Medicare because the biggest qualifier is that you must be 65 years or older. You also need to have paid taxes into the Social Security fund. In other words, you needed to have worked for a short time. If you meet those requirements, you'll likely be approved for Medicare. Younger patients who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits may also qualify.


Coverage for Medicaid is much more comprehensive than Medicare, and it usually includes prescription medications (some restrictions apply). The exact coverage, however, does vary from state to state, so you'll need to check with your state to see exactly what is covered.

Basic Medicare usually includes Parts A and B, which doesn't include prescription coverage. For more money, you can get Medicare Advantage or Part C, which includes all of Parts A and B, but most plans also include prescription coverage, and some include dental, vision and wellness care. Medigap policies are also available from private insurance providers. They help cover more of what Medicare doesn't cover.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Medicaid has few out-of-pocket costs, and you don't even have to pay a monthly premium. In some cases, you may need to pay a co-payment a deductible, but you don't usually have co-insurance, which can quickly become costly.

Medicare has more out-of-pocket costs. For starters, you must pay a premium, and the better the plan, the higher the premium. Depending on your plan, you may also need to pay co-payments or co-insurance.

Medicaid and Medicare are designed to help seniors with medical insurance. They both have pros and cons, and you must qualify to get benefits. If you believe you want to apply for long term Medicaid services or Medicare, get started today by determining if you qualify and which one is right for you.