That’s Greek To Me! – Medicare vs. Medicaid

Sad, said. Medicare, Medicaid.  It’s all sounds the same right? I decided to write today’s post after a conversation I had with a girl who I’ll call Sunny. She’s a friend of a friend whose grandma was in the hospital last week and she called me needing some advice.  I felt blessed to be able to help. As I talked with Sunny last week, I realized she wasn’t completely sure whether her grandma had Medicaid or Medicare or both. This was important. So right over the phone, I gave her a quick lesson on the two. Right then and there, I knew what I needed to write my next That’s Greek to Me post on.  If you’re not completely clear of the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, don’t wait until you’re out of money or retired to learn about what these terms really mean. Imagine you’re on the other side of the phone with me and get the same two minute lesson right now! And while I’m known for talking too much, I promise I’ll keep it short!

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid can be extremely confusing even for an educated individual. For this very reason, I’ve decided to intentionally keep today’s post short and simple. I won’t be going into the deep about all that each health insurance program provides, but will just give you enough to be able to differentiate between the two.

The first and most important difference?

If you’re to remember anything from today’s “conversation”, know that Medicare is generally for people who are OLDER (over 65) and Medicaid is for people who are POORER (low income).  I use the word “generally” because there are some groups of people under 65 who can qualify for Medicare (This is if they have certain disabilities, etc).

The second difference?

Medicare is solely funded for through the federal government (the nation) whereas Medicaid is funded by state as well as the federal government. What this means is that when it comes to Medicare, the benefits and rules will stand the same for any individual whether they live in Kansas, Kentucky, California or Florida. When it comes to Medicaid, however, each state controls their own Medicaid program and therefore, a Medicaid program in Kentucky may have different benefits and rules than the Medicaid program in New Jersey. That’s where it gets confusing.

So in review, Medicare is for people over 65 years old and Medicaid is for those who are considered low income. Medicare is paid for through the federal government and Medicaid is paid for partly by the federal government but also by each individual state.  For today, I’ve only shared the bare minimum and basics with you all in hopes not to turn you away! Hope this post was helpful to you!

If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare or Medicaid, please knock your socks off by visiting the Center for Medicaid and Medicare’s site at