Sharing the same prefix makes Medicare and Medicaid easily interchangeable, but in reality, they are entirely different. To add to the confusion, both are structured by the government to assist people with healthcare costs. Beyond sharing prefixes and the healthcare realm, the two programs have nothing else in common.

Medicare: an insurance program paid from trust funds which those covered have paid into.

  • For seniors 65+ or those with a qualifying disability
  • Federal government sets standard benefits and costs
  • Private plans might provide additional (varying) coverage and costs
  • Parts A and B provided by the government; Parts C and D provided by insurance companies

Medicaid: an insurance assistance program serving low-income people.

  • For individuals, families, and children with limited income and resources
  • State sets Medicaid programs based on federal guidelines
  • Different programs exist for specific populations
  • Both mandatory and optional benefits available

Both Medicare and Medicaid include premiums, deductibles, copays, and insurance costs. Specific Medicaid groups are exempt from out-of-pocket expenses, and there are four different Medicare savings programs available. Some people can have both Medicare and Medicaid; these people are called “dual eligible.”

To enroll for Medicare, enroll with either Social Security directly (Parts A and B) or a private insurance company (Parts C and D) to choose the coverage you need. To enroll for Medicaid in Michigan, visit their website.

Both Medicare and Medicaid are two very different healthcare programs. It is imperative to understand the differences. If you are dual-eligible, learn how they can work together for your benefit.

For more information about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. To enroll in Medicare Parts C and D, contact Senior Health Medicare today.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at

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