Medicare and Medicaid are definitely not the same thing. While both are administered under the Center for Medicare/Medicaid, these two programs differ in many ways.
Medicare is basically an ‘entitlement’ program, covering all persons age 65 and over from whom a portion of each paycheck is held in trust by the Social Security Administration. Medicaid on the other hand is a need-based program for which persons must apply and meet specified guidelines. Another difference between Medicare and Medicaid is the Federal Government contributes up to 50% of costs for each state, with wealthier states receiving less assistance than less affluent states. There is one Medicare program for all participants, while each state has an individual Medicaid program.
Under Medicare, Part B which concerns medical insurance requires a monthly fee to be deducted from the recipient’s monthly social security check. Part D which concerns prescription drug costs also requires a monthly fee social security check deduction as well as a patient co-pay for each prescription until a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenditure is attained. There is no monthly deductible associated with Medicaid, no monthly fee for prescriptions, and in addition a 20% coverage of the total cost of each billing is possible in cases where patients are not eligible for full-cost payment.
While Medicare covers all persons age 65 and over, Medicaid covers children under the age of 19. as well as their parents and/or custodial caregivers. Medicaid coverage includes physician office visits, home health care, basic dental procedures, all drug prescriptions, and unlimited nursing home care as well as expenses for care in an assisted living facility. Medicare only covers short-term nursing home care and no assisted living assistance.