The federal government created Medicare and Medicaid, supported by taxpayers,in 1965. The two problems have some similarities but also many differences.
While Medicare focuses on taking care of seniors, as well as providing long-term care to those who need it, Medicaid is there for the elderly in some respects and also for the poor.
Medicare affords health coverage to all Americans who are 65 or older, as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
This was because seniors are more vulnerable than most to being hit with high medical expenses that at a time in their lives when their ability to earn money was declining.
Beginning in 1972, additionally, Medicare would also offer some coverage to people with certain types of disabilities and to those end-stage kidney disease.
As the country's biggest federal health insurance program, Medicare is an umbrella over one person out of every seven.
Americans are eligible at age of 65 through their Social Security. Everyone over this age qualifies, no matter what their income.
Social Security income deductions and payroll taxes fund hospitalization and medical insurance. Americans can procure more services through private insurance. Prescription drugs are covered by participants in the program.
Medicare does not cover every medical need. It doesn't offer dental coverage, for instance, nor does it cover items like glasses or hearing aids.
Preventive care is not covered. And long-term care is not generally available.
Medicaid is Title XIX of the Social Security Act, a joint health care assistance program of federal and state governments.
Unlike Medicare, it is intended to serve people with low incomes, and for those without any other medical coverage, who can't afford medical costs.
Income of applicants is considered and is a determining factor as to whether or not the applicant will be accepted into the program. But all of its services are free for those who qualify.
Medicaid is the primary source of assistance for long-term care. Medicaid is meant to assist with medical care, and with long-term care.