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Medicaid and Medicare

Two commonly confused healthcare programs in the U.S. are Medicare and Medicaid.

They both have ties to the federal government and provide health insurance. 

Medicare is a fully federal program that provides health coverage to people above the age of 65 or below the age of 65 and with a disability. It is not based on income and is established on the assumption that recipients have been paying into the program while they were younger. 

On the other hand, Medicaid is based on income and serves as both a state and federal program. It provides health coverage for those who come from low-income households. 

The programs overlap in who they cover. Both programs are often available to people who have disabilities and are accessible to low-income adults over the age of 65. Each program also has different levels of financial coverage for medical expenses. Medicare has recipients pay deductibles while Medicaid recipients usually have all their medical costs covered by the program. 

A person who qualifies for both Medicare and Medicaid can use both healthcare programs to lower their medical costs while still receiving quality care. 

Sophia Welsh was a Healthcare intern for ONC during the Fall 2021 semester. 


(DCD), Digital Communications Division. “What Is the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?”, 2 Oct. 2015,

“Medicaid vs Medicare You Can Have Both.” UnitedHealthcare Community Plan,

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