What is the Difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

What's the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? These two programs can be confusing and often mistaken for each other. So today, we wanted to talk briefly about what each program is and who it is for. 


Medicare is a federal insurance program that you contribute to during your employment years. You pay into this program when Social Security is taken from each of your paychecks. This is primarily for people who are 65 years and older, but there are some instances where those who are younger can receive Medicare. 

There are two types of Medicare programs, Medicare A and Medicare B. Medicare B pays for your nursing home stay after a qualifying stay in the hospital (3 days.)

Medicare will pay for the first 20 days and up to another 80 days with a copay; we strive to help our clients get the full 100 days covered. At the end of those days that are paid by Medicare, you either private pay or we can seek Medicaid.


Medicaid is a federal-state program, but it's a needs-based program as opposed to federal insurance. Before you can receive Medicaid, you have to qualify financially. If you're under 65 and you're in a nursing home, then they're going to be looking primarily at your income, not so much at the assets or if you're getting other benefits from Medicaid.

You can only have $2,000 worth of assets and qualify for Medicaid. If you are a spouse, there are more details that we would have to discuss in a consultation. 

Medicaid can last much, much longer than those 100 days with Medicare. Once you qualify for Medicaid, you'll be able to spend the rest of your time in that nursing home with the assistance of Medicaid.

Learn More About Medicare and Medicaid 

If you are interested in learning more about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid and what you qualify for, contact us today! We offer free consultations!

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